South Carolina from A to Z

Mon-Fri, throughout the day

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. (A production of South Carolina Public Radio.)

South Carolina from A to Z Archives (April 2011 to Sept 2014)

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"B" is for Bacot, Ada White [1832-1911]. Civil War nurse, diarist. Bacot was born and reared in Darlington County. In January 1861 she volunteered to serve as a nurse for the Confederacy, and, overcoming bureaucratic obstacles, was in Virginia by December. Working in the Monticello Hospital --operated by the South Carolina Hospital Aid Association--she supervised the preparation of meals and the laundering of clothing and bed linens. Social convention limited her interactions with wounded...

"A" is for Adams, Edward Clarkson Leverett [1876-1946]. Physician, author. Born in Richland County, Adams served in World War I. He returned to Columbia in 1918 where he briefly practiced medicine. In the 1920s he retired to his plantation on the Bluff Road and devoted the remainder of his life to farming and writing. His first book, Congaree Sketches , was a stunning success. Adams was able to present the black dialect with great precision, and also, as a white author, unhesitatingly...

"Y" is for Yellow Fever. For more than 200 years yellow fever was one of the most dreaded diseases in South Carolina. It was introduced into the colony as a result of the African slave trade and the first major epidemic struck in 1699. Charleston hosted numerous epidemics and the victims were mainly whites not native to the lowcountry—hence another name for the disease-- “strangers' fever.” The disease is caused by a flavivirus and transmitted by mosquitoes. One of its symptoms is jaundice...

"W" is for Walker, George Edward [ca. 1827-1863]. Architect, engineer. Walker was among the first generation of professional architects in South Carolina. His early designs attracted the attention of Edward Brickell White, the city's leading architect who hired Walker as the supervising architect for the new federal customhouse. In August 1854, Walker became the architect of the new State House in Columbia. The appointment was a professional coup, but he was unable to get along with the...

"V" is for Vesey, Denmark [ca. 1767-1822]. Slave, artisan, abolitionist. Vesey was probably born on the Danish island of St. Thomas. Captain Joseph Vesey who later established himself in Charleston as a ship chandler purchased him. Denmark worked in the chandlery until 1799 when he won a local lottery and purchased his freedom. He set himself up as a carpenter and became a leader in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. With increased white pressure on the black community, Vesey began to...

"E" is for Ensore, Joshua Fulton.

"D" is for Doby, Lawrence Edward.

"C" is for Central, SC

Nov 30, 2016

"C" is for Central, SC.

"B" is for Bennett, Thomas, Jr.

"A" is for Ashwood Plantation.

"B" is for Brawley, Benjamin Griffith [1882-1939]. Educator, author, editor, clergyman. A native of Columbia, Brawley was a gifted and enthusiastic student—earning degrees form the University of Chicago and Harvard. In 1921 he was ordained a Baptist minister. Between 1902 and 1939, he taught English at various predominantly black colleges in the South and East—including Atlanta Baptist College [now Moorehouse], Shaw University in Raleigh, and Howard University in Washington. Brawley was a...

"B" is for Brattonsville. Brattonsville is the site of a large eighteenth and nineteenth-century plantation in southern York County situated on the south fork of Fishing Creek. The settlement began in 1766 as the two hundred acre farm of Colonel William Bratton. John Simpson Bratton inherited the bulk of his father’s estate and constructed the large two-story Georgian mansion known as the Homestead. He converted his parents’ old log house into the Brattonsville Female Academy. His widow built...

"B" is for Bratton, William [ca. 1742-1815]

Nov 23, 2016

"B" is for Bratton, William [ca. 1742-1815]. Soldier, legislator. Bratton was born in county Antrim, Northern Ireland and immigrated with his family to America not long afterward. Beginning in 1765, an extended family of Brattons moved into present-day York County as part of a larger Scots-Irish migration into the Carolina Piedmont. In 1766, Bratton purchased 200 acres on Fishing Creek and built a two-story log house that is still standing today. During the Revolutionary War, he serve din the...

"W" is for Workman, William Douglas, Jr. [1914-1990]. Journalist, author. After graduating from the Citadel, Workman became a reporter for the News and Courier. By the late 1950s, as a result of his reporting on governmental, political, and racial issues throughout the South; his syndicated columns; and his frequent appearances as a television commentator, Workman had statewide name recognition. In 1960, he published The Case for the South in which he asserted his views of the...

"W" is for Woodward, Isaac, beating of [February 1946]. Woodward, a Winnsboro native, was discharged from the Army after four years of active duty. He was returning home from Camp Gordon, Georgia, when he got into an argument with the bus driver about needing a rest stop. When the bus reached Batesburg, the driver complained to local police. A scuffle ensued in which two officers beat Woodward with their nightsticks. The beating left him blind. The incident garnered national attention and...

"D" is for Drovers

Nov 17, 2016

"D" is for Drovers. From around 1800 until the 1880s, livestock from Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina were driven through Greenville County to the seaport at Charleston—destined for markets in the north and in the Caribbean. These drives were made possible by the completion of a road from Greenville County across the mountains into Knoxville, Tennessee in the late 1790s. Herds consisted primarily of cattle or hogs, but also included sheep, mules, horses, and turkeys. A typical...

"B" is for Black River

Nov 16, 2016

"B" is for Black River. The Black River takes its name from its tea-colored waters. The river begins in the Sandhills of Lee County. It is joined by Rocky Bluff Swamp near Sumter. The Pocotaligo River flows into the Black between Manning and Kingstree. In some places the river is swamp like, while in others it is swift moving with a sandy bottom. After travelling over 150 miles through four counties, the Black River becomes part of the Great Pee Dee River near Georgetown. With only a few...

"C" is for the Charleston Mercury . Established in 1821 as a literary journal, the Charleston Mercury developed into one of the state’s most radical and combative newspapers. In 1823 Henry Laurens Pinckney purchased the newspaper and transformed it into a partisan organ for John C. Calhoun. By 1830, the Mercury had become a strong proponent of nullification. Although its ownership changed several times in the 1840s and 1850s, its editorial tone remained aggressive. In 1857 the Rhett family...

"W" is for Williamson’s Plantation, Battle of [July 12, 1780]. After the fall of Charleston, New Acquisition District [present-day York County] was reputedly the only district where no one took the King’s protection. Patriot raids led to a detachment of the British Legion, under the command of Captain Christian Huck, being sent to punish the rebels. He responded vigorously by insulting the inhabitants and pillaging the countryside. On the night of July 11 th he camped at James Williamson’s...

"S" is for Segregation

Nov 11, 2016

"S" is for Segregation. Segregation, the residential, political, and social isolation of African Americans, by law and custom was accomplished in South Carolina in the last quarter of the 19 th century. The 1895 constitution effectively disenfranchised most black Carolinians. Jim Crow laws were speedily enacted after the US Supreme Court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson that established the principle of separate but equal. For black Carolinians, the experience of life in a segregated society...

"P" is for Pike, John Martin [1840-1932]. Clergyman, editor, publisher. A Canadian and ordained Methodist clergyman, Pike was invited to preach at Columbia’s Washington Street Methodist Church. He moved to the state and served churches in in Lynchburg, Sumter, Summerville, and Charleston. In 1893 he became editor of a periodical, The Way of Faith . Through his involvement with the Oliver Gospel Mission in Columbia, Pike became a pivotal figure in the spread of Holiness and Pentecostal strains...

"M" is for McNair, Robert Evander [1923-2007]. Attorney, legislator, governor. After serving in the Pacific theater during World War II, McNair graduated from USC and moved to Allendale—the hometown of his wife, Josephine. From 1951 until 1963 he represented Allendale County in the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 1962 he was elected lieutenant governor. When Governor Donald Russell resigned in April 1965, McNair became governor. He was elected to a full term in 1966. The McNair...

"L" is for Loggerhead Turtle. State Reptile. The loggerhead turtle, a threatened species, is one of the world’s eight living species of turtles--and evolved some sixty-five to seventy million years ago. At birth, hatchlings are about two inches long. Adults can weight between 200 and250 pounds. The animal is reddish brown and yellow and has a distinctive large head—the source of its name--with powerful jaws enabling it to crush clams, crustaceans, and other food. Its great size and hard shell...

"H" is for Highway 301. Construction of this major US highway in South Carolina began in 1932, when the federal government began taking over the maintenance and construction of many state roads. The route began in Baltimore, Maryland and ended in Sarasota, Florida—crossing through many towns in eastern South Carolina: including Dillon, Latta, Florence, Manning, Olanta, Sumerton, Bamberg, and Allendale. From the North Carolina border to the Savannah River, Highway 301 covers a distance of...

"R" is for the Reformed Episcopal Church.

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