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

"U" is for the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. The denomination was formed in 1958 with the union of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America and the United Presbyterian Church in North America. Long-established lowcountry black congregations were part of the United Presbyterian Church. In 1861 when the South seceded from the union, the denomination had divided into northern and southern branches. After the war, black Presbyterians withdrew from white churches.

"T" is for Television

Dec 13, 2017
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"T" is for Television. The first snowy black and white images on South Carolina television screens were broadcast by a Charlotte, North Carolina station. It was not until 1952 that six South Carolina stations received their FCC television broadcast licenses. WIS, Columbia went on the air in April 1953 and WCSC, Charleston, followed a month later. WNOK-TV, one of the oldest UHF channels in the country, is now WLTX, Columbia. Many early stations bought their television cameras developed by Columbia native Thomas T. Goldsmith.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for St. John's Berkeley Parish. One of the ten original parishes created in 1706, the parish of St. John's Berkeley stretched northwestward from the upper reaches of the Cooper River to the Santee River through modern Berkeley and Orangeburg counties. The first Europeans settled in the area in the 1690s and by 1705 included Huguenots, English, Irish, and Barbadians. By 1720, enslaved Africans outnumbered whites three to one as the production of rice in freshwater inland swamps replaced the earlier dry cultivation. The parish church, called Biggin Church, was erected in 1712.

"An accurate map of North and South Carolina with their Indian frontiers, shewing in a distinct manner all the mountains, rivers, swamps, marshes, bays, creeks, harbours, sandbanks and soundings on the coasts." Henry Mouzon, 1775
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (NBL Map Center) at the Boston Public Library (BPL) [CC BY 2.0]

A two-decade, joint effort between South Carolina and North Carolina has sought to correct errors made surveying the boundary line between the two states. The errors began with the first survey, made in 1735, and were compounded over the years. Alan-Jon Zupan, a former project manager for the South Carolina Geological Survey, and David Ballard, currently with SCGS, join Walter Edgar to talk about the history of South Carolina’s northern line, and the modern-day efforts to get it right.

All Stations: Fri, Dec 15, 12 pm | News & Talk Stations: Sun, Dec 17, 4 pm

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"R" is for Ravenel, Beatrice [1870-1956]. Poet. Journalist. Born in Charleston, she entered Harvard Annex [later Radcliffe College] as a special student in 1889. Twice left a widow, Ravenel turned to poetry (some of it splendid) and short stories (mostly derivative and plot-heavy) to support her family. She is probably one of the best examples of the influence of the Poetry Society of South Carolina on local writers. Through the Society she met Amy Lowell who championed her work. Ravenel's poetry in the 1920s championed the outsiders and the dispossessed.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"D" is for Doby, Lawrence Edward.


Newspaper Wars: Civil Rights and White Resistance in South Carolina, 1935-1965.
USC/Thomas Cooper Library

In spite of a growing movement for journalistic neutrality in reporting the news of the 20th century, journalists enlisted on both sides of the mid-century struggle for civil rights. Indeed, against all odds, the seeds of social change found purchase in South Carolina with newspaperman John McCray and his allies at the Lighthouse and Informer, who challenged readers to "rebel and fight"--to reject the "slavery of thought and action" and become "progressive fighters" for equality.

"C" is for Central, SC.


South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Bennett, Thomas, Jr.


Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr.
SC Hall of Fame

Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr., South Carolina's first Africa-American chief justice, has died Sunday, December 3, 2017. He was 86. Finney was one of just a handful of black lawyers in the state when he graduated from the South Carolina State College School of Law in 1954. Finney was elected chief justice of South Carolina in 1994 and retired from the court in 2000.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"A" is for Ashwood Plantation.


South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"E" is for Ensore, Joshua Fulton.


"T" is for Tega Cay

Dec 1, 2017
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"T" is for Tega Cay, in York County; population 4044. Tega Cay is a recreational oriented community on Lake Wiley, with stronger ties to North Carolina than South Carolina. Tega Cay came into being in 1970 when Duke Power sold 1600 acres in northwestern Fort Mill township to a Charlotte developer. The name allegedly comes from an obscure Polynesian dialect and means "lovely peninsula." Historically, the site was identified as India Hook H ills which aptly described the red clay spur of land that jutted like a fish hook into the Catawba River.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for St. James-Santee Parish. The parish of Saint James-Santee was established in 1706 and included the Northwestern portions of modern Berkeley and Charleston Counties. The earliest Europeans in the area were Huguenots. In 1706 the French and English settlers of the area petitioned the commons house for parish status. Because of the language barrier within the congregation of the parish church, for decades St. James-Santee required a bilingual clergyman who could speak to the congregation and both French and English.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"R" is for ratification of the United States Constitution. South Carolina’s ratification of a new federal Constitution in 1789 was never in doubt. Representation in the ratification convention was heavily skewed in favor of the Lowcountry where there was tremendous support for a strong federal government. Lowcountry residents were uncomfortable with the political forces unleashed by independence and the defeat of the British, and they did not trust the backcountry.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Palmetto Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association. Throughout the 19th century, African-American physicians in South Carolina were barred from hospitals and clinics and they lacked access to many medications and supplies. In 1896, five black physicians formed the Palmetto State Medical Association as a vehicle to improve healthcare for black Carolinians and to graduate more medically trained personnel. Early meetings focused on the advancements of Medical science and efforts to lower black mortality rates.

Trowel at an archaeological dig.
HeritageDaily [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community (2016, University Press of Florida), Martha Zierden, Curator of Historical Archaeology at The Charleston Museum; and, Dr. Betsy Reitz, University of Georgia Athens, weave archaeology and history to illuminate this vibrant, densely packed Atlantic port city. They detail the residential, commercial, and public life of the city, the ruins of taverns, markets, and townhouses, including those of Thomas Heyward, shipping merchant Nathaniel Russell, and William Aiken.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"O" is for Olympia Cotton Mill. The Olympia Cotton Mill was one of four mills designed and built by industrialist W. B. Smith Whaley. Construction began in 1899 and by 1900 the mail was an operation, often call the world’s largest cotton mill under one roof. It housed more than 100,000 spindles and 2250 looms in a mammoth, multi-storied and towered brick structure, some 150 by 550 feet. All machinery was powered by electricity. The mill village contained a kindergarten, school, gymnasium, and the first playground in the Columbia area.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Cainhoy Riot. The Cainhoy Riot was one of the many deadly frays involving white gun clubs and African American militiamen that erupted during the 1876 gubernatorial campaign. A Republican political meeting was scheduled for October 16th at Brick House some thirty miles up the Cooper River from Charleston. Based upon previous disturbances, African Americans came to the meeting armed. Soon whites from Charleston arrived by steamboat and tried to disrupt the proceedings. A scuffle broke out and shots were fired.

"B" is for Baha'is

Nov 23, 2017
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Baha'is. Founded in 1844 as an outgrowth of the, Babi faith, the Baha'i faith is one of the world's youngest religions. Among its principles are the oneness of humankind, the common foundation of all religions, religion and science as integral parts of the truth, the equality of men and women, and the elimination of prejudice of all kinds. Charlestonian Louis G. Gregory introduced Baha'i teachings into South Carolina. Gregory was the son of a slave and a 1902 graduate of Howard University Law School. He made mission trips across the South.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"A" is for Adams, James Hopkins [1777-1858]. Governor. Born in lower Richland County and educated at Yale, Adams was a successful cotton planter. He represented Richland County in both the South Carolina house and senate. In 1854, the General Assembly elected him governor. Although the state's voters had repudiated secession in 1850, he belonged to the radical faction that advocated immediate secession from the union.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"Y" is for Yellow Jessamine. State flower. In 1924, the General Assembly chose the yellow, or Carolina, jessamine [Gelsemium sempervirens] as the state flower. Among the reasons sited were its being indigenous to every nook and corner of the state and that its perpetual return out of the dead of winter suggests the lesson of constancy in, loyalty to, and patriotism in the service of the State. Carolina jessamine is a twining woody vine with pointed, evergreen leaves. It climbs over bushes, fences, and tree limbs.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"W'" is for Walker, William [1809-1875]. Teacher, composer, author. In 1835, the man known as "Singing Billy" Walker published Southern Harmony, a shaped-note hymnal using a four-shape [fa-so-la] system. The shaped-note style is a simplified musical notation developed to make it easier for untrained congregations to sing in harmony without instrumental accompaniment. Shapes [triangle = fa; oval = so; rectangle = la; and diamond = mi] were added to the note heads to help singers find pitch within major and minor scales.

Dr. J. Brent Morris
USC Beaufort

(Originally broadcast 07/14/17) Yes, Lord, I Know the Road: A Documentary History of African Americans in South Carolina, 1526 – 2008 (2017, USC Press) is the first comprehensive history of African Americans in the Palmetto State. From the first North American slave rebellion near the mouth of the Pee Dee River in the early sixteenth century to the 2008 state Democratic primary victory of Barack Obama, Dr. J.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"E" is for Enoree River. The Enoree River flows approximately seventy miles from its source in northern Greenville County to its confluence with the Broad River above Columbia. Its basin encompasses more than 730 square miles across South Carolina's Piedmont--the largest part of which is forestlands--with a small percentage characterized as urban. Along the way, the river provides borders for parts of Greenville, Spartanburg, Laurens, Union, and Newberry Counties.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"D" is for Dixon, Dorsey [1897-1968] and Howard Dixon [1903-1961]. Musicians. The Dixon Brothers, popular during the 1930s composed many original songs on diverse subjects, including the life and labor of textile workers. With Dorsey on guitar and Howard leading on steel guitar, their sound was more distinct than the traditional mandolin-guitar or twin-guitar duets. Their vocal harmony—albeit a bit rough—nonetheless had a style uniquely their own. All total they cut some 55 sides for Bluebird—many of which are extremely rare.

"C" is for Cayce

Nov 15, 2017
South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Cayce [Lexington County; population 12,150]. Cayce encompasses approximately fifteen square miles on the Congaree River. The city is the descendant of the colonial trading village of Granby. In 1817 the Cayce family made the former Fort Granby their private residence and around the house became known as the Cayce House. In 1914 the town was incorporated and named Cayce. The coming of the railroads in the 19th century gave birth to the modern city of Cayce.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Bennett, John [1865-1956]. Author. Artist. An Ohio native, Bennett achieved national acclaim for Master Skylark, considered one of the best American historical novels for children. Ill health led to his moving to Charleston. For years he tried unsuccessfully to get publishers interested in African American folklore and folk life. When he gave a lecture in Charleston on Gullah, he was condemned in the local press.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"A" is for Ashmore, Harry Scott [1916-1998]. Author. Editor. Pulitzer Prize Winner. A Clemson graduate, Ashmore went to work for the Greenville Piedmont and Greenville News. His reporting earned him a Nieman Fellowship and a position with the Charlotte News. In 1947 he moved to the Arkansas Gazette. His editorials opposing Governor Orville Faubus' attempts to block the desegregation of Little Rock's Central High School attracted national attention and won a Pulitzer Prize. His 1954 book, The Negro and the Schools summarized research on the disparate biracial education system in the South.

Soldier's comrades watching him as he sleeps, Thievpal, France, during World War I.
National Library of Scotland

Furman University's Dr. Courtney Tollison co-curated “Over Here, Over There: Greenville in the Great War,” an exhibition on display in the spring of 2017 at Furman University’s James B. Duke Library. The exhibit examined World War I’s (1914-1918) impact on the Greenville community as well as the contributions of the area to the war effort, domestically and overseas; and it assessed the mixed legacy of progress emanating from the war years.

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