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"C" is for Callen, Maude Daniel [1898-1990]. Nurse. Born in Florida, Callen was educated at Florida A&M College and the Tuskegee Institute. In 1923, now a registered nurse, she arrived in Berkeley County as a missionary of the Episcopal Church. She was often the sole health-care provider, teacher, and nutritionist for the remote and scattered population of a 400 square mile area. She is best remembered for her work as a nurse mid-wife, delivering more than one thousands babies and providing pre-natal and post-natal care for mothers.

"B" is for Bamberg

Aug 9, 2016

"B" is for Bamberg [population 3,733]. Bamberg, the county seat of Bamberg County began as a water-refilling stop on the South Carolina Railroad. The little settlement was incorporated in 1855 and named in honor of William Seaborn Bamberg who had acquired the site. During the Civil War Union cavalry destroyed the railroad depot and tracks. After a postwar recovery, by the 1880s, the town was prospering and by the early 20th century was the most active cotton market between Augusta and Charleston. Successful residents built homes on Railroad Avenue and adjacent streets.

"A" is for African Americans. The first African-Americans to live in what is now South Carolina were slaves in the 16th century failed Spanish settlements. Within the first year of permanent English settlement, there were enslaved Africans in the colony. By 1708 the colony had a black majority population. At least 25 separate West African ethnicities have been identified among the colony's slave population. On the eve of the Civil War the state's population was nearly sixty percent black.

"D" is for Denmark

Aug 5, 2016

"D" is for Denmark [Bamberg County; population 3,328]. The community was first established in 1837 as a turnout on the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company line. Incorporated in 1870 as Grahams, the town was renamed Denmark for Colonel Isadore Denmark, president of the Southbound Railroad Company. Until the formation of Bamberg County in 1897, Denmark was in Barnwell County. By the end of the 19th century, the town had become an important office for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company and was a transportation center—boasting three major railroad systems.

"C" is for the Carolina Cup. The inaugural Carolina Cup was run in 1930 at Ernest Woodward’s Springdale Race Course in Camden. A sterling trophy crafted in Ireland in 1704 and dedicated to the great horseman Thomas Hitchcock was secured for the occasion. Destined to become one of the most popular stops on the national steeplechase circuit, the Carolina Cup is among the oldest surviving race meets in America and the largest in terms of faithful fans. Thoroughbred racehorses are still touted as the feature of the day, but the tradition goes far beyond the superb steeple chasing over fences.

"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.

"W" is for Wayne, Arthur Trezevant [1863-1930]. Ornithologist. As a teenager, Wayne began regularly visiting the Charleston Museum after school—displaying great interest in birds. The curator and a local taxidermist taught him how to prepare bird skins and soon he was collecting birds, nests, and eggs. At the age of 15 he donated the first of many specimens to the museum. After a brief foray into the business world, he devoted the remainder of his life to ornithology. He earned his living by collecting birds and selling their skins to ornithologists and museums.

"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.

"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.

"O" is for Organized Labor. Organized labor in South Carolina has colonial roots. As early as 1742 white shipwrights in Charleston protested allegedly unfair competition from slave labor. In 1834 Charleston typographers formed the first union in the state. Black longshoremen organized in 1867, beginning the longest living union in the state. The Knights of Labor had a transitory following in the 1880s. Craft unions appeared about the same time. Columbia’s 1891Labor Day parade, a large two-day celebration indicated the perseverance of craft unions.

"N" is for Nicholson, Francis [1655-1728]. Governor. Before he made his career as a colonial administrator, Nicholson was a soldier. He served as lieutenant governor of New York, Virginia, and Maryland and as governor of Virginia. Returning to England he worked with the Board of Trade on issues of imperial defense and economic policy. In 1710, he led colonial troops that recaptured Nova Scotia for Great Britain. In 1720 he became the first royally appointed governor of South Carolina.

"M" is for Marion, Martin Whiteford [1917-2011]. Baseball player. Marty Marion attended Georgia Tech and then played briefly for Chattanooga in the Southern League. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 1936 and was assigned to one of their minor league teams. In 1940 he made his major league debut with the Cardinals and was their regular shortstop until 1950. He was a seven-time All Star and was voted Most Valuable Player and Player of the Year in 1944. He won four pennants and three World Championships in his decade with the Cardinals.

"L" is for Laurens Glass. When deposits of silica, important for glassmaking--were found a few miles north of Laurens, a group of local businessmen organized Laurens Glass Works in 1910. Skilled glassblowers were brought in from Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1913, the company was reorganized by Albert Dial and shortly thereafter obtained the first license in the country to manufacture Coca-Cola bottles. It remained one of the few suppliers of Coke bottles until after World War II. After the war Laurens Glass expanded—opening plants in North Carolina and Louisiana.

Johnny D. Boggs
Courtesy of the author

  (Originally broadcast 11/20/2015) - Timmonsville native and Santa Fe resident Johnny D. Boggs He talks with Walter Edgar about his latest novel, The Cane Creek Regulators (Five Star, 2014), which is set in a time when the western "frontier" of South Carolina included the Upstate.

Boggs has called "[one of] the best western writers at work today." He has won the prestigious Spur Award from Western Writers of America six times. He's also the author of numerous non-fiction articles about the American West.

  "K" is for the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan was a paramilitary organization formed during Reconstruction to oppose the Republican Party and restore white supremacy in the South. It was particularly strong in the predominantly white upcountry counties. President U. S. Grant declared a state of rebellion in ten South Carolina counties and suspended the writ of habeas corpus. Many Klan leaders fled the state and the organization ceased to exist.

  "J" is for John D. Hollingsworth on Wheels. John D. Hollingsworth on Wheels was a Greenville-based manufacturer of steel and flexible wire clothing for cards and other machines for spinning preparation. It was founded in 1894 by Pinckney C. Hollingsworth who started a company to repair textile machinery. He carried a lathe and grinder—by mule—to cotton mills in the two Carolinas. He later purchased a used truck and built a large garage-workshop behind his house. He was followed in the business by his son John D. Hollingsworth and grandson. J.D.

  "I" is for Irvin, Willis [1890-1950]. Architect. After graduating from Georgia Tech, Irvin established a practice in Augusta. For nearly 30 years he was the leading designer of upscale residences throughout the lowcountry. He catered to wealthy clients, including many northerners who bought plantations for use as winter homes.

  "H" is for Hancock, Gordon Blaine [1884-1970]. Educator, writer. After graduating from Benedict College, Hancock became the principal of Seneca Institute in Oconee County. After receiving degrees from Colgate and Harvard he accepted a professorship at Virginia Union University in Richmond. Hancock wrote a weekly column, “Between the Lines” for the Norfolk Journal & Guide, a black newspaper with a national circulation; he also wrote a comparable syndicated column for the Associated Negro Press. The latter ran for three decades in 114 African American newspapers.

  "G" is for the General Textile Strike. On Labor Day 1934, the United Textile Workers [UTW] launched a nationwide strike. Within a week, more than 500,000 workers---including 43,000 in South Carolina-- joined the protest, shutting down two-thirds of the state's textile mills. Factories shut down so rapidly that tabulators lost count. Governor Ibra Blackwood called out the National Guard and Highway Patrol to confront the strikers. Increased tensions between striking workers and mill owners led to confrontations and then, in Honea Path—to violence.

  "F" is for Fishing, commercial. With extensive estuaries and barrier islands, the coastal areas of South Carolina are important regional nurseries for fisheries. The state's commercial fisheries are characterized by small-scale, individual operators harvesting primarily shrimp, offshore finfish, blue crabs, and oysters. Shrimping is the state's largest fishery. The two major shrimp crops are brown shrimp, caught in early summer, and white shrimp, harvested in late summer and throughout the fall.

European Union flag

  (Originally broadcast 02/12/16) - In their book, Religion and the Struggle for European Union: Confessional Culture and the Limits of Integration (Georgetown University Press, 2015), Furman University professors Brent F. Nelsen and James L. Guth delve into the powerful role of religion in shaping European attitudes on politics, political integration, and the national and continental identities of its leaders and citizens. Catholicism for centuries promoted the universality of the Church and the essential unity of Christendom.

"M" is for Medicine

Jul 8, 2016

  "M" is for Medicine. In 1734, William Bull, II, became the first native-born American to obtain a European medical degree—at the University in Leyden. The early 19th century gave rise to systematic attempts to improve medicine in South Carolina. In 1817, the legislature created examining boards for physicians, midwives, and apothecaries. Roper Hospital, the first community hospital of any size, opened in 1856.

  "L" is for Longstreet, James Peter [1821-1904]. Soldier. Born in Edgefield District, Longstreet spent his formative years in Georgia and Alabama. After graduating from West Point, he had a successful army career, serving with distinction in the Mexican war and achieving the rank of major. In 1861, he resigned his US Army commission and joined the Confederate Army as a brigadier general. He distinguished himself as a superb military tactician and in 1862 Robert E. Lee made him his second in command.

  "H" is for Historic Preservation. Few states can rival South Carolina’s devotion to history as measured by the preservation and interpretation of places and buildings associated with its past. In many ways, the preservation movement in this country can be traced to the successful efforts of Ann Pamela Cunningham of Laurens to save George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon. In Charleston, the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings helped the city create the country’s first historic preservation district and its first historic zoning ordinance.

  "C" is for Charleston Riot (1919). This riot was the earliest major incident in a nationwide outbreak of racial violence that came to be known as the “Red Summer.” Race riots erupted in two dozen American communities between April and October. The trouble began on May 11th with rumors that a black man had shot a white sailor. White servicemen, accompanied by local whites, began destroying black businesses and attacking black passersby. Black Charlestonians defended themselves.

The War the South Won

Jul 4, 2016
Engraving depicting the death of British Major Patrick Ferguson at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolutionary War, October 7, 1780.
Chappel, Alonzo, 1828-1887 (artist), Jeens, Charles Henry, 1827-1879 (engraver), Anne S. K. Brown Collection at Brown University

(Originally broadcast 03/04/16) - General U.S. history courses in many high schools depict the American Revolutionary War as a series of battles in the Northeast--Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, etc.--that lead inexorably to British General Charles Cornwallis's surrender of 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a French and American force at Yorktown, Virginia, October 19, 1781.