South Carolina from A to Z

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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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"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
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"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 The Edict of Nantes, guaranteeing religious freedom, was revoked in 1695 and individuals had the choice of renouncing their faith or fleeing France.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.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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.

"S" is for Slave Codes

Jul 20, 2018
South Carolina From A to Z
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"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
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"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
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"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
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'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.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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.

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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"C" is for Coker, David Robert (1870-1938). Businessman, plant breeder, philanthropist. Following his graduation from the University of South Carolina, Coker managed the J.L. Coker and Company. Illness led him to withdraw from the business and to focus on his first experiments with plant breeding. He saw a need not only for better seed to provide more productive crops but also for a change in the attitude from traditional to more modern methods of farming. This dual focus led to the subsequent development of the Coker’s Pedigreed Seed Company in 1913 with Coker as president.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"C" is for Coker, Charles Westfield (1879-1931). Businessman, philanthropist, social reformer. At an early age, Coker became involved in his family’s various business enterprises. In 1899, when the Cokers organized the Southern Novelty Company in Hartsville, he became its first treasurer and chief salesman. In 1918 he became president of the company. It was Charles Coker who brought modern industrial and managerial practice to the family-controlled business, which changed its name to Sonoco Products Company.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"C" is for Cofitachiqui. Cofitachiqui is the name of a sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Native American chiefdom as well as one of the principal towns of the chiefdom. The town of Cofitachiqui was located on the bank of the Wateree River below the fall line near present-day Camden. Spanish accounts, from De Soto’s 1540 expedition, refer to the “Lady of Cofitachiqui” as the local ruler. According to her the province had suffered a great pestilence and she ruled following the death of a male relative.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"C" is for Cockfighting. Cockfighting is a blood sport that has existed in South Carolina from colonial times to the present—despite the fact that it was banned by the General Assembly in 1887 and carries a felony charge for participants and less severe penalties for spectators. Cockfighting remains popular in the state and the oldest continuously published magazine for cockers (as cockfighters style themselves), Grit and Steel, emanates from Gaffney. In a typical cockfight, long steel spikes are attached to the legs of the cocks.

South Carolina From A to Z
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"C" is for Coastal Plain. The coastal plain is South Carolina’s largest land-form region, forming two-thirds of the state and encompassing approximately twenty thousand square miles. It includes the land from the Sandhills to the coast. South Carolina’s coastal plain is divided into three sections according to elevation and topography: upper, middle, and lower. The upper coastal plain is that section lying between the Sandhills and the Orangeburg Scarp.

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