Walter Edgar

Host

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his A.B. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens. In 1972 he joined the faculty of the History Department and in 1980 was named director of the Institute for Southern Studies. Dr. Edgar is the Claude Henry Neuffer Professor of Southern Studies and the George Washington Distinguished Professor of History. He retired from USC in 2012. He has written or edited numerous books about South Carolina and the American South, including South Carolina: A History, the first new history of the state in more than 60 years. With more than 37,000 copies in print and an audio edition, it has been a publishing phenomenon. Partisans & Redcoats: The Southern Conflict that Turned the Tide of the American Revolution is in its fourth printing. He is also the editor of the South Carolina Encyclopedia.

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South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Hume, Sophia Wigington (ca. 1702-1774). Minister, writer. A native Charlestonian, Hume was reared an Anglican, but embraced the Quakerism of her grandparents in the 1740s. Re-examining her faith and her life of luxury she moved to London; embraced a life of simplicity; and joined the Society of Friends. She returned to Charleston in late 1747, convinced of the need to warn her neighbors and others of their erring ways. Hume spent the rest of her life inspiring others through her religious writings and dedication to the Quaker faith.

"H" is for Huguenots

Aug 6, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Huguenots. Huguenots are French Calvinists. The French Reformed church was formally founded in 1559. Because of intense religious strife in France, Jean Ribaut sponsored the short-lived (1562-1563) Huguenot settlement at Charlesfort on Parris Island. The Edict of Nantes, guaranteeing religious freedom, was revoked in 1695 and individuals had the choice of renouncing their faith or fleeing France. The Huguenot migration to South Carolina is part of a larger diaspora, traditionally known as le Refuge—some 2,500 migrated to North America, about 500 to South Carolina.

(Originally broadcast 02/09/18) - With the United States’ entrance into World War I, three Army training bases were set up in South Carolina. The social and economic impact on a state still suffering from the devastation of the Civil War was dramatic. Three infantry divisions, including support personnel, swelled the Upstate and Midlands population by 90,000. On the coast, recruits flocked to Charleston’s Navy base. And some of those trainees were African Americans, which caused political turmoil and civil strife in a Jim Crow state.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"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 a second large dwelling, Brick House.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Coker, James Lide, Sr. (1837-1918). Businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist. Coker was educated at St. David’s Academy, the Citadel, and Harvard. During the Civil War he was a major in the Ninth South Carolina Infantry and seriously wounded at Lookout Mountain. It took him nearly a year to recover. In 1865 he opened J.L. Coker and Company, a general merchandise store, in Hartsville. Later, he founded a cotton mill, a cotton gin, and a cottonseed-oil mill. With his son James Jr.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Coker, James Lide, Jr. (1863-1931). Entrepreneur, engineer, industrialist. After graduating from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, Coker returned to South Carolina. At Stevens, Coker had studied the process of making paper from wood pulp and conceived of the idea of substituting cheap and readily available southern pine for the hardwoods then in general use. He built an experimental pulp mill in Hartsville and with his father formed the Carolina Fiber Company. His mill had a significant influence on the future development of the southern pulp mill industry.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Brown, Thomas (1750-1825). Soldier. Brown was among the most notorious Loyalist commanders in the South during the American Revolution. He immigrated to Georgia in 1774, established a large plantation, and became embroiled in local politics—particularly expressing his opposition to the revolutionary movement. In 1775 a committee of the local Sons of Liberty captured and tortured him when he refused to renounce his allegiance to the king. He later fled to British St. Augustine and was commissioned a lieutenant colonel and authorized to raise a regiment of mounted rangers.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Brown, Morris (1770-1849). Clergyman. Brown, a free mulatto, was born in Charleston. He received a license to preach as a Methodist lay preacher and organized an African congregation in Charleston. The parish became popular with slave and free persons of color—initially drawing 1,400 members. However, after white Methodist officials reduced the control that black Methodists could have over their own church, Brown led most of his congregation out of the denomination.

Detail from a poster showing a Red Cross nurse with an American flag and the Red Cross symbol. (Artist: Howard Chandler Christie)
Library of Congress

When the United States entered the First World War in 1918 they women of South Carolina figuratively rolled up their sleeves, and went to work to support their state and their country. At this time, the average woman in the state was black, lived in a rural setting, worked in agriculture or as a domestic worker. White women, while more likely to be in the middle class, were still largely living in rural areas or small towns, and working in agriculture or in textile mills.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Burroughs & Chapin. Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc., was formed in 1990 when the century-old Burroughs & Collins Company of Conway merged with Myrtle Beach Farms Company. Headquartered in Myrtle Beach and holding tens of thousands of acres throughout Horry County, Burroughs & Chapin is dedicated to coastal economic development and attracting new businesses to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand. The firm is the linear descendant of the business partnership formed in 1895 by Franklin Burroughs and B.G. Collins. In 1912 Simeon B.

"B" is for Burnettown

Jul 26, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Burnettown (Aiken County; 2010 population 2,673). Incorporated in 1941, Burnettown is located in the Horses Creek Valley of Aiken County. In 1890 Daniel Burnette purchased land along a dirt road and sold a few lots. When a trolley line opened in 1902, people realized that there was no name for this stop. Passengers boarding or departing the trolley at this point decided to call the site Burnette Town.

"G" is for Grits

Jul 25, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"G" is for Grits. Grits is (or are) the coarse-to-fine ground product of a milling process whereby the hull of the dried corn kernel is popped open and the fleshy part is milled into tiny particles. Mill stones carved with grooves radiating outward from the center were set by the miller to grind the dried corn into course, medium, and fine grits as well as corn meal. Purists avow that today’s steel-roller grits don’t taste the same. Grits, like rice, is a base for other foods and flavorings.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"G" is for Grimké, Sarah Moore and Angelina Emily Grimké. Although members of the upper echelon of South Carolina society, the Grimké sisters rejected a privileged lifestyle rooted in a slave economy and became nationally known abolitionists. Both were members of the Ladies Benevolent Society and visited the homes of poor whites and free blacks in the city. By 1830, both sisters had moved to Philadelphia.

"S" is for Slave Labor

Jul 23, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for Slave Labor. Slavery was work, and for most slaves it was monotonous and relatively undifferentiated labor. Lowcountry South Carolina plantations were distinguished by the use of the task system rather than gang labor. Under this system a slave cultivated a certain measure of land—normally a quarter of an acre—and had the rest of the day to him- or herself when the task was completed. Fifty miles inland the choice between tasking or gang labor depended largely on the size of the estate. Small farmers with few slaves usually could not afford the task system.

The Fireproof Building, designed by Robert Mills (1822-27), home of the South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC.
Spencer Means [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

(Originally broadcast 03/23/18) - The South Carolina Historical Society’s headquarters in downtown Charleston, SC, the historic "Fireproof Building," is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, with plans to re-open in summer 2018. While continuing to be the headquarters for the SC Historical Society, the building will also house a museum of South Carolina history.

"S" is for Slave Codes

Jul 20, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for Slave Codes. South Carolina’s earliest formal code of law regarding slaves, established in 1690,borrowed heavily from the statutes governing slavery in Barbados. It codified the institution of chattel slavery in South Carolina. Although disallowed by the Lords Proprietors, a similar code was enacted in 1696 and revised in 1712. The enforcement of the revised code was difficult and frequently haphazard.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Porter-Gaud School. Located in Charleston, Porter-Gaud had its beginning just after the Civil War. In 1867 the Reverend Anthony Toomer Porter launched the Episcopal Holy Communion Church Institute, a school for white boys. Called Porter Academy after 1882, the school added a military department in 1887. At Porter’s death in 1902, drills in military tactics and football were part of the curriculum along with Latin, modern languages, science, and mathematics. In the 1950s the school faced declining enrollment.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Port Royal Naval Station. The Union fleet’s conquest of the Sea Islands in 1861 was the beginning of more than a century of U.S. naval involvement with Port Royal Sound. With nearly thirty feet of water above the bar at all tides, Port Royal Sound is the deepest natural harbor on the Atlantic seaboard south of New York. In 1876 many of the capital ships of the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic Fleet spent the winter at Port Royal to avoid ice in northern ports. During the Spanish American War, the Port Royal Station was one of the principal support stations for U.S.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

'M" is for Milliken & Company. In 1865 Seth Milliken and his business partner William Deering became successful jobbers of woolen textiles in Portland, Maine. Deering left the partnership in 1869, but the company’s name remained Deering Milliken until 1976 when it became Milliken & Company. By 1920, the company had an interest in forty-two South Carolina textile mills and was the selling agent for southern textile mills. Roger Milliken, the grandson of the founder moved to Spartanburg in 1954.

Robert Cox (with Maria Hinojosa, WGBH, Boston)
Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One, WGBH, Boston

(Originally broadcast 01/19/18) - The Buenos Aires Herald ceased publication in July of 2017, almost 141 years after its founding. The paper became famous, however, only in the latter part of the 20th century, for exposing the forced disappearances of Argentinians during the 1976-83 military dictatorship. Other newspapers in the country whitewashed this chapter of Argentina’s history.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"M" is for Milliken, Roger (1915-2010). Businessman, political activist. During his long career Milliken built his family’s textile business into a burgeoning textile corporation known for its innovative management and technological prowess. He also played a major role in South Carolina’s transition to Republican dominance, supporting conservative issues and candidates around the state. When Milliken obtained control of the family business, he moved to Spartanburg in 1954 and also started to concentrate the company’s operations in the South Carolina Piedmont.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"M" is for Miller, Thomas Ezekiel (1849-1938). Political leader, college president. A native of Beaufort, Miller graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Returning to South Carolina he opened a law practice in 1875. Miller served in the South Carolina House (1874-1880) and Senate (1880-1882). In 1888 he won a contested election to the U.S. House. In 1895 he represented Beaufort in the Constitutional Convention where he eloquently, but unsuccessfully fought the efforts to disenfranchise thousands of African Americans.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"M" is for Miller, Stephen Decatur (1787-1838). Congressman, governor, U.S. Senator. Miller was elected to Congress in 1816. From 1822 to 1828 he was a member of the South Carolina Senate where he was an early leader in the nullification movement. In 1824 he offered resolutions setting forth the strict states’-rights constructionist argument and declared federal internal improvements and protective tariffs unconstitutional. The Senate passed the “Miller Resolutions, “ but the House did not.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lyttelton, William Henry (1724-1808). Governor. Lyttelton began his career as a colonial administrator when he was appointed governor of South Carolina in 1755. He arrived in Charleston in June 1756. Lyttelton’s tenure was marked by frontier warfare with the Cherokee Indians and by political and constitutional conflicts with the Commons House of Assembly. In 1759, he negotiated a treaty with the Cherokees at Fort Prince George.

"L" is for Lynching

Jul 10, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lynching. The origin of the word “lynching” has several explanations. One is that the term derives from Lynches Creek, South Carolina. Lynches Creek was known as a meeting site for the Regulators, a group of vigilantes who used violence against their opponents. This definition and one about a Virginia justice of the peace refer to forms of frontier vigilantism.

Cover photo of a bird-filled sky above a line of trees at sunset.
Kathleen Robbins

(Originally broacast 01/12/17) - Ed Madden, Columbia's Poet Laureate, writes that poet Tim Conroy “is a theologian of the best kind, a theologian of the ordinary.”

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lynches River. Originating at the confluence of two nameless streams in North Carolina, the Lynches River crosses the state line in the Piedmont and flows nearly its entire 175-mile length through South Carolina. From a relatively straight path in the pine forests it becomes a slower, braided waterway as it meanders through wetlands fed by a number of tributaries. At the end of its course it is joined by the waters of the Great Sparrow Swamp and then empties into the Pee Dee River.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Huguenot Church (Charleston). Located at 140 Church Street, the French Protestant (Huguenot) Church was the first Gothic Revival ecclesiastical building erected in Charleston. Construction began in 1844. It was designed by Edward B. White and is built of brick finished in stucco. In color and scale it blends harmoniously with the city’s built environment. The church was damaged in 1864 during the siege of Charleston and nearly destroyed during the 1886 earthquake.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"H" is for Huger, Isaac (1743-1797). Soldier. Huger began his military career as an officer in the South Carolina expedition against the Cherokees. With the onset of the Revolution he was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the South Carolina militia. Huger was promoted to colonel and later commanded the First and Fifth South Carolina Regiments. In 1779, he was promoted to brigadier general in the Continental army. He fought and was wounded at the Battle of Stono Ferry and commanded the South Carolina and Georgia militia at the siege of Savannah.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Coker, Elizabeth Boatwright (1909-1993). Writer. At Converse College, Coker was editor of the school’s literary magazine. Between 1950 and 1991, she published nine novels in the genre of the historical romance, allowing her to exploit her deep interest in all periods of the southern and South Carolina experience. Her first novel, Daughter of Strangers (1950), was a dramatic treatment of racial identity set in antebellum New Orleans and the South Carolina lowcountry. It remained on the New York Times best-seller list for six months.

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