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.

Ways to Connect

"B" is for Barry, Catharine Moore.

"A" is for Allen, William Hervey, Jr.

"W" is for Wells, Helena.

"T" is for Timber

Nov 17, 2014

"T" is for Timber.

"S" is for Salley, Eulalie Chafee.

Velvet Blue Spread Fungus is Common on Oaks

"R" is for the Reformed Episcopal Church.

"P" is for Paul, Marian Baxter.

"O" is for Owens Field

Nov 11, 2014

"O" is for Owens Field.

"N" is for Ninety-Six, the Battles of...

"L" is for LeConte, Joseph

"J" is for John's Island Presbyterian Church

"H" is for Happyville

Nov 3, 2014

"H" is for Happyville

"S" is for Secession Crisis of 1850-51.

Sir Robert Worcester

- All Stations: Fri, Oct 31, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Nov 2, 2014 -

The Magna Carta is a charter of liberties to which the English barons forced King John to give his assent in June 1215 at Runnymede in June of 1215. It is also considered by many to be a cornerstone of human rights to which the U. S. Constitution's Bill of Rights can trace its ancestry. Join Dr. Edgar to talk about the upcoming celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta are Sir Robert Worcester, Chair of the Magna Carta 800th Committee and the 2014 James Otis Lecturer at the South Carolina General Assembly, and Joel Collins, member of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

"R" is for Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

"P" is for Piedmont

Oct 29, 2014

"P" is for Piedmont.

"M" is for McCleod, Thomas Gordon.

“L” is for Local Government. Local Government in South Carolina consists of general-purpose governments and special-purpose governments. Counties and municipalities comprise the general-purpose governments. Special-purpose governments include school districts and special-purpose districts such as fire, recreation, sewer and water districts. The most significant special purpose districts in the state are the eighty-five school districts. The state constitution and statutes specify the basic governance structure and the general powers, duties, and authorities of counties and municipalities.

“F” is for Fundamentalists. The designation “fundamentalists” is an umbrella term that takes in many theologically conservative, evangelical Protestants from several denominations and independent congregations. As a movement, fundamentalism emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a reaction to “modernist” currents that embraced historical-critical methods of studying the Bible. In time fundamentalism came to represent a belief system that stressed a literal interpretation of the Scriptures.

“D” is for Drayton, William Henry [1742-1779]. Revolutionary Leader. Planter. He was educated in England. In 1769, his essay in the South Carolina Gazette, opposing the non-importation association, created a political firestorm that resulted in his being ostracized politically, socially, and economically. He went to England where he hoped his views would be more appreciative. In England, he published The Letters of Freeman, a compilation of his essays in favor of British imperial policy—which won for him a seat on South Carolina’s Royal Council.

“B” is for Black Business Districts. Prior to the Civil War, free persons of color in South Carolina owned businesses—generally in the service industry—such as blacksmith and harness shops. These businesses served and operated within both the black and white communities. Once segregation was enacted in the 1890s, black business districts appeared. Jim Crow laws forced many businesses either to operate separate facilities for black customers—or deny them service. Black entrepreneurs stepped in to establish operations in which African Americans could be served with courtesy and dignity.

“E” is for Evans, Matilda Arabella [1872-1935]. Physician. A native of Aiken, Evans attended Schofield Normal and Industrial School, Oberlin College’s preparatory school, and the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia. Aware of the inadequate health care available for black Carolinians, she decided to improve medical care and sanitation in her home state. Evans became the first female physician in Columbia. She treated both black and white patients in her home.

“D” is for Drovers

Oct 16, 2014

“D” is for Drovers. From around 1800 until the 1880s, livestock from Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina were driven through Greenville County to the seaport at Charleston—destined for markets in the north and in the Caribbean. These drives were made possible by the completion of a road from Greenville County across the mountains into Knoxville, Tennessee in the late 1790s. Herds consisted primarily of cattle or hogs, but also included sheep, mules, horses, and turkeys.

“B” is for Black River. The Black River takes its name from its tea-colored waters. The river begins in the Sandhills of Lee County, and is joined at Rocky Bluff Swamp near Sumter. The Pocotaligo River flows into the Black between Manning and Kingstree.  In some places the river is swamp like, while in others it is swift moving with a sandy bottom. After travelling over 150 miles through four counties, the Black River becomes part of the Great Pee Dee River near Georgetown.

“W” is for Williamson’s Plantation, Battle of [July 12, 1780]. After the fall of Charleston, New Acquisition District in present-day York County was reputedly the only district where no one took the King’s protections. Patriot raids on British outposts led to a detachment of the British Legion, under the command of Captain Christian Huck, being sent to punish the rebels. He responded vigorously by insulting the inhabitants and pillaging the countryside. On the night of July 11th he camped at James Williamson’s abandoned plantation in Brattonsville.

“S” is for Segregation.  Segregation, the residential, political, and social isolation of African Americans, by law and custom was accomplished in South Carolina in the last quarter of the 19th century. The 1895 constitution effectively disenfranchised most black Carolinians. Jim Crow laws were speedily enacted after the US Supreme Court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson that established the principle of separate but equal. For black Carolinians, the experience of life in a segregated society was often traumatic. A wide variety of laws set African Americans apart from whites.

  “B” is for Blanchard, Felix Anthony, Jr. [1924-2009]. Football player, Heisman Trophy recipient. “Doc” Blanchard was born in McColl but grew up in Bishopville. As the son of a physician, townspeople called him “Little Doc,” a nickname that followed him for a lifetime. He played high school football at Bishopville and then at St. Stanislaus Prep School in Biloxi, Mississippi. In 1943 Blanchard was drafted, but was accepted for officer candidate school and enrolled at West Point.

  “W” is for WIS Radio and Television. WIS Radio and Television stations in Columbia played an influential role in the development of South Carolina’s broadcast media-being among the state’s pioneer commercial broadcasters and locating their studios in the capital city. The last station in the country to be granted a three-letter call sign, WIS Radio signed on the air on the evening of July 10, 1930, from a  one-room studio in Columbia’s Jefferson Hotel. The call sign initials stood for “Wonderful Iodine State.” In 1931 the station was acquired by Liberty Life Corporation.

  “S” is for Shand, Gadsden Edwards [1868-1948]. Architect, engineer. After receiving his engineering degree from South Carolina College, he studied architecture in new York. Shand became best known his public and commercial building designs and played a significant role in the early 20th century development of the state’s textile industry. He served as superintendent of construction on the South Carolina State House from 1888-1890.