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.

Ways to Connect

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.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"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.

John Slaughter, Superintendent of US Park Service's Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks group.
SCETV/Original SC

(Originally broadcast 10/13/17) - The Southern Campaign was critical in determining the outcome of the American Revolutionary War, yet the South’s importance has been downplayed in most historical accounts to date.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"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
SC Public Radio

"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
SC Public Radio

"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
SC Public Radio

"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.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Coastal Carolina University. Located in Horry County between Conway and Myrtle Beach, Coastal Carolina University is a public comprehensive liberal arts institution. Coastal opened in 1954 as Coastal Carolina Junior College, a branch of the College of Charleston. In 1958, the school became an independent institution. At that time a successful voter referendum in Horry County approved funding for the college, which become a regional campus of the University of South Carolina two years later. After a major fund-raising drive, in 1962 ground was broken for the present campus.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Clyburn, James E. (b. 1940). Congressman. A native of Sumter, Clyburn graduated from South Carolina State College. He has had an extensive public career. From 1971 to 1974, he served on Governor John West’s staff. In 1974, Governor West appointed him as South Carolina human affairs commissioner—a position he held for eighteen years under both Democratic and Republican governors. In 1992 Clyburn was elected to Congress from the newly reconfigured “majority minority” Sixth District. In 1998 he was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

D.W. Griffith, director (1923)
Library of Congress

(Originally broadcast 11/10/17) - How did the American South contribute to the development of cinema? And how did film shape the modern South? In Fade In, Crossroads: A History of the Southern Cinema (2017, Oxford University Press), Robert Jackson tells the story of the relationships between southerners and motion pictures from the silent era through the golden age of Hollywood. Jackson talks with Walter Edgar about the profound consequences of the coincidence of the rise and fall of the American film industry with the rise and fall of the Jim Crow era.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Brown, Lucy Hughes (1863-1911). Physician. A native of North Carolina, Brown completed her medical training at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. After practicing medicine in North Carolina, she moved to Charleston and became the first black female physician in the state. She contributed to the establishment of the Cannon Hospital and Training School for Nurses in 1897, which was later, renamed McClennan-Banks Hospital. At this hospital, she headed the department of nursing training.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Brown, James (1933-2006). Musician. Born in Barnwell County, Brown began his career in Augusta in the 1950s when he formed the Flames—the first of a series of backing bands that would contribute to the evolution of his trademark sound. His first hit came with the 1956 release of “Please, Please, Please.” A consummate showman, Brown gave his audiences the total experience of singing, dancing, and showbiz spectacle. His appearances recorded as Live at the Apollo are regarded as the peak of his live shows.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Brown, Edgar Allan (1888-1975). Legislator. At the age of sixteen Brown learned shorthand and became a stenographer. In 1910 he passed the state bar exam. He represented Barnwell County in the House of Representatives (1921-1926) and served one term as Speaker. Brown was elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1928 and remained there until his retirement in 1972. Politically, Brown was one of the most powerful men in state government. For thirty years (1942-1972) he was both president pro tempore of the Senate and chairman of the finance committee.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Broughton, Thomas (d.1737). Legislator, lieutenant governor. By the 1690s Broughton had immigrated to South Carolina from the West Indies. He quickly became involved in the Indian trade and used his connection as the son-in-law of Governor Nathaniel Johnson to advance his position. Broughton acquired four plantations, including Mulberry on the Cooper River where he built a massive, Jacobean-style brick mansion dubbed “Mulberry Castle.” He was first elected to the Commons House in 1696 and later served as its Speaker.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Bryan, Hugh (1699-1753). Planter, evangelist. Born of the colony’s southern frontier, Bryan was captured by Indians during the Yamassee War. After his release, he settled in St. Helena’s Parish where he became a leading rice planter, cattle raiser, and slaveholder. Bryan became an enthusiastic follower of the evangelist George Whitefield and, under his tutelage, began to apply religious writings of contemporary events. Bryan saw the Stono Rebellion, the 1749 Charleston fire, droughts, and outbreaks of epidemic diseases as God’s displeasure with South Carolina.

South Carolina's Constitution of 1861 underwent a lamination preservation process. Archivists no longer use the process after it was realized the laminate material degrades into an acid, doing more damage to the documents.
Cooper McKim/SC Public Radio

(Originally broadcast 10/20/17) - Millions of historic documents in the U.S., from presidential papers to personal slave journals, are facing an issue apart from age: a preservation method that has backfired. The process of laminating documents between sheets of cellulose acetate film, widely practiced from the 1950s through the 1970s, has now been determined to actually contribute to the deterioration of acid-containing paper.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for Lumpkin, Grace (ca. 1896-1980). Writer, social activist. A native of Georgia, Lumpkin’s family moved to Columbia in 1900. She earned a teacher’s certificate from Brenau College and then held various positions as a teacher, home demonstration agent, and social worker. In 1925 she moved to New York where she took a job with The World Tomorrow, a pacifist publication. After covering a Communist-led textile strike she went to work for a Soviet-affiliated trading company.

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