Walter Edgar


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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"F" is for Flat Nose

Sep 5, 2017

"F" is for Flat Nose. In the 1980s, Flat Nose, a Darlington County bulldog, attracted international attention because of his ability to climb pine trees. According to his owner Barney Odom, Flat Nose developed his tree-climbing ability as a puppy despite Odom's best efforts to stop him. After regional media gave the dog considerable attention, he and his owner were invited to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

"E" is for Eleanor Clubs. During the early years of World War II, white South Carolinians, like other white southerners, passed rumors about “Eleanor Clubs.” They told each other that their black help—inspired by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt—were organizing quasi-unions to raise their pay or leave domestic employment. And, they vowed to have a white woman in every kitchen by Christmas. Then they would start to press for social equality and, finally, the overthrow of white-led government.

Frank Kearns
WVU Press

Columbian Gerald Davis is co-producer of the 2012 Emmy-winning documentary Frank Kearns: American Correspondent first aired on West Virginia Public Television. Recently, Davis has published Algerian Diary: Frank Kearns and the "Impossible Assignment" for CBS News (2016, WVU Press). He talks with Walter Edgar about his deep dive into Kearns’ life and the assignment that changed the way the U.S. viewed Algeria’s fight for independence from France.

"T" is for   [circa   1790-circa 1840] and Madame Ann Marsan Mason Talvande [circa 1807-1850]. Educators. Between 1816 and 1850 Madame Talvande's Ladies Boarding School in Charleston educated the daughters of the elite families of South Carolina, including the diarist Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut and the novelist Susan Petigru King. The Talvandes were thought to be refugees from the Hatian revolution.

"S" is for Saint Bartholomew's Parish. St. Bartholomew’s was one of the ten original parishes established by the Church Act of 1706. Located in present-day Colleton County, the parish included the territory between the Edisto and Combahee rivers. With the spread of rice and indigo, St. Bartholomew's became a prosperous plantation area. By 1820, the population was overwhelmingly African-American (83.6%). Local residents could never agree on a site for a parish church so several Anglican Chapels of Ease were built instead—the most notable being the chapel at Pon Pon. The planters of St.