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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"N" is for the Nathaniel Russell House. The Nathaniel Russell House is located at 51 Meeting Street in Charleston. It is considered one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in the country. The architect is unknown. The three-story brick structure with a low-hipped roof and balustrade was completed in 1808 for Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell. It is unusual among downtown residences in that it is set back from the street with a front garden.

"M" is for the Mace of the South Carolina House of Representatives. The mace is a symbol of the authority of the House of Representatives. The scepter-like object rests in a rack at the front of the Speaker's Desk whenever the House is in session and is sometimes carried in ceremonial processions. South Carolina legislative bodies have used it since it was made for the Commons House of Assembly in 1756. Magdalen Feline—a master goldsmith, crafted the mace in London. It is forty-eight inches long, weighs almost eleven pounds and is fashioned of silver burnished with gold.

"L" is for the Laing School. Cornelia Hancock, a Civil War nurse and a Quaker, established Laing School in Mount Pleasant in an abandoned church in 1866. The school was named for the Philadelphia Quaker philanthropist Henry M. Laing. The mission of the school was to educate former slaves and inspire them to strive for high ideals and good citizenship and to make worthwhile contributions to society. Known as the Laing Industrial School, the institution offered seven years of schooling along with courses in sewing, cobbling, and manual training.

  Airport security is on everyone’s mind these days.  And keeping an airport safe is like protecting a small - city, but one where there are constant and imposing threats.   Thousands of people walk on and off the property of a typical large airport every day and it can be a daunting task to manage their access, their vehicles, their baggage etc.  Our next guest has been doing just that since 2003 for airports all across the country.

Mike Switzer interviews David Peeples, president of Intellisoft in Mauldin, SC.

  "K" is for Kelsey and Guild. During the first decade of the 20th century, the Boston landscape architecture firm of Kelsey and Guild served as consultants to civic improvement groups in Columbia and Greenville. In 1904 Harlan Kelsey spoke about the “City Beautiful” movement in both cities that led to the creation of civic improvement organizations in the capital city and Greenville. These organizations commissioned the partners to produce citywide plans for beautification and improvement.

"L" is for Lancaster

May 23, 2016

  "L" is for Lancaster, the county seat of Lancaster County [population 8,177]. The town of Lancaster was incorporated in 1830 and Robert Mills designed the Court House and Jail. Most Lancaster residents were Unionists in the decades prior to the Civil War, but supported secession in 1860. In 1896 Leroy Springs opened the Lancaster Cotton Mill, the first of many cotton factories to be built in the area. Over the next few decades, textiles replaced cotton farming as the mainstay of the local economy. Between 1940 and 1970 the town's population more than doubled.

  "K" is for Keyserling, Harriet [1922-2010]. Legislator.   Born in New York, Harriet Hirschfeld married Beaufort native Herbert Keyserling during World War II and returned with him to his hometown. The story of Harriet Keyserling's transition from a transplanted New York liberal Jewish housewife to an eight-term member of the South Carolina legislature—is told in her much-acclaimed 1998 memoir, Against the Tide. She served on the Beaufort County Council and then was elected to the General Assembly.

  "J" is for James, John [1732-1791]. Soldier, legislator. Born in Ireland, James migrated with his family to Prince Frederick Parish in 1732. He gained his first military experience as a captain in the militia during the Cherokee War. With the coming of the Revolution, he represented Prince Frederick's Parish in the Provincial Congress and was elected a captain in the state militia. After the fall of Charleston, he rallied his neighbors to resist the British occupation and was once again elected as their commander.

  "I" is for Industrialization.  Much of the state's pre-Civil War industrialization was centered in the upcountry, but the iron foundries and textile mills were relatively small operations. In the 1890s the textile industry mushroomed and by the early 20th century, South Carolina was the second largest cotton-textile producing state in the country. Following World War II, the state began an aggressive effort to foster more industrial development. The State Development Board and the State Ports Authority worked diligently to recruit new industries.

  "H" is for Hamilton, James, Jr. [1786-1857]. Congressman,  governor. In a state known for its flamboyant politicians, Hamilton was among the most colorful individuals ever to sit in the governor's chair. A famous duelist, he successfully fought fourteen duels, always wounding but never killing his opponents. He represented Charleston in the General Assembly and was the Mayor of Charleston during the Denmark Vesey Crisis. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, he was an ardent nationalist and supporter of Andrew Jackson.

  "G" is for Galphin, George [d. 1780]. Indian trader. Galphin emigrated from Ireland in 1737 and by 1745 was serving as an Indian interpreter for the Commons House of Assembly among the powerful Lower Creek nation. He established a trading post at Silver Bluff on the Savannah River and maintained excellent relations not only with the Creeks, but also the Cherokees. He was respected by the Indians and traveled freely throughout much of the southeast. Galphin's trade influence extended south to the Gulf coast and west to the Mississippi River.

  "F" is for the Federalist Party. During the early years of the new republic the Federalist Party flourished in South Carolina, holding the lion’s share of political power in the state. It was the unifying ideology for the powerful planter and commercial elite that guided the state's affairs during the tumultuous post-Revolutionary War years. Carolinians also played significant roles in the national party. William Loughton Smith was Alexander Hamilton's chief spokesman in Congress.

  "E" is for Edelman, Marion Wright [b. 1939]. Lawyer, civil rights and children's rights advocate. A native of Bennettsville, Edelman was educated at Spelman College and Yale. As a student at Spelman, she became involved in the civil rights movement that led to her serving as the Mississippi state director of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund. During her time in Mississippi she expanded her focus beyond civil right to children's rights. This led her to found the Washington Research Project [now the Children's Defense Fund].

  "D" is for Daniel, William Henry [1841-1915]. Farmer, businessman, tobacco pioneer.  A native of North Carolina, “Buck” Daniel, moved to South Carolina after the Civil War. He settled in Marion County where he established himself in the naval stores business. In 1874 he moved to Mullins, a new railroad stop and opened a general mercantile establishment. As prices for cotton and naval stores declined in the 1880s, farmers were looking for a new cash crop. In 1894 Daniel raised eight acres of Bright Leaf tobacco and shipped it to market.

  "C" is for Calhoun County [380 square miles; population 15, 185]. Named in honor of John C. Calhoun, the county was created in 1908 from part of Orangeburg and Lexington counties. St. Matthews, the county seat, is the location of one of the best small museums in the state.  Though it is the second smallest county, its geography is remarkably varied--including red clay and sand hills, deep river valleys, and coastal plains with rich, loamy soils. Since the 18th century, agriculture has been a cornerstone of the area's economy.