South Carolina from A to Z

Mon-Fri, throughout the day

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)

Ways to Connect

"S" is for Sayers, Valerie [b. 1952]. Author. Sayers grew up in Beaufort. She earned her MFA at Columbia University. In 1993 she joined the faculty at the University of Notre Dame where she became directors of the masters in fine arts program. Sayers is the author of five novels and several short stories. Her first novel, Due East serves as an anchor for her other four novels. Due East is the name Sayers gives to the thinly disguised Beaufort of her youth and adolescence.

 "A" is for Abbeville County [508 square miles, population 26,167]. Abbeville was one of six counties created out of the old Ninety Six District. Its northern border is the colonial Indian territory.

  "B" is for Babcock, James Woods (1856-1922). Psychiatrist, mental hospital superintendent. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1886, Babcock returned to South Carolina as the Superintendent of what was then called the South Carolina State Lunatic Asylum. In 1895 Babcock persuaded the General Assembly to change the name of the institution to the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane. But, he could get little else from the legislature.

"C" is for Caesar (ca. 1682-ca. 1754), Slave, medical practitioner. In 1749, a member of the Commons House of Assembly informed his fellow members that “a Negro Man named Caesar belonging to Mr. John Norman of Beach Hill” had reportedly cured several persons “who had been poisoned by Slaves.” A legislative investigation secured testimony from prominent white planters and physicians that praised the effectiveness of Caesar's treatments and vouched for his abilities. The Assembly reached a bargain with Caesar.

  "M" is for Memminger School. Founded in 1858 in Charleston, Memminger was patterned after normal schools in the North. Its mission was to train female teachers for the state at large as a department of a new city high school for girls. Admission depended upon entrance tests and was usually free. Eventually the curriculum was expanded beyond education and teaching to include domestic science and business. In 1932, the normal department was closed, but by that date the school had educated thousands of teachers, business and professional women, and housewives.