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"C" is for Chapin, Sarah Flournoy Moore [ca. 1830-1896]. Temperance leader; social reformer. Known as Sallie F. Chapin, she became one of South Carolina’s most visible 19th century women leaders. During the Civil War, she served as president of the Soldier’s Relief Society and after the war as leader of the Ladies Christian Association. In 1880 she organized the first local chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in South Carolina in Charleston.

Greenville Chautauqua illustration: Rachel Carson, Cesar Chavez, Maya Angelou, Abraham Lincoln
Greenville Chautauqua

Before radio and television, traveling cultural tent shows toured across America. The original Chautauqua was a road show of music, entertainment, and always a great speaker of the day. At their peak, Tent Chautauquas appeared in over 10,000 communities and preformed for more than 45 million people.

"B" is for Berkeley County [1,098 sq. miles; population 142,651]. Created on May 10, 1682, Berkeley was one of South Carolina's first three counties. It was named for two of the Lords Proprietors, Lord John Berkeley Sir William Berkeley. At that time Charleston served as the county’s seat of justice. Over the next two centuries the boundaries and organization of the Berkeley County area underwent several alterations. With the abolishment of the parish system in 1865, Berkeley became part of Charleston County.

"A" is for Alston, Joseph [ca. 1778-1816]. Governor. Although admitted to the bar in 1799, Alston devoted his career to the management of his extensive rice plantations in All Saints Parish. In 1801 he wed Theodosia Burr, daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr. Alston was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and was its Speaker, 1805-1809. His support of upcountry demands for reapportioning the legislature led to the Great Compromise of 1808 and a constitutional amendment apportioning the House based upon population and taxable wealth.

"W" is for Westmoreland, William Childs [1914-2005]. Soldier. Westmoreland graduated from West Point as first captain of the cadet corps. During World War II he saw action in North Africa, Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the Remagen Bridge. At the end of the war he was a colonel and commanded a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. He saw action as a commander during the Korean Conflict and, at the age of 38, was promoted to brigadier general. In 1960 he was named superintendent of West Point.

"T" is for Toal, Jean Hoefer [b. 1943]. Lawyer, jurist. After graduation from Agnes Scott College, Toal received her Juris Doctor degree from the USC School of Law. She was associated with the Haynsworth firm in Greenville and later as a partner with Belser Baker Barwick Toal and Bender in Columbia. With the Belser firm she gained considerable experience as a litigator in state and federal courts. In 1975 she began a thirteen-year career in the General Assembly and became the first woman to chair a standing committee in the House.

"S" is for Sanders, Dorinda [Sua] Watsee [b. 1934]. Farmer, novelist. After graduating from the segregated schools in York County, Dori Sanders attended community colleges in Maryland. Then, during the winter, she worked as a banquet manager. During the summer she worked on her family’s 200-acre farm and helped staff Sanders’ Peach Shed on US Highway 321. She had been writing for a number of years and in 1990, Algonquin Press published her first novel, Clover. The lyrical novel received rave reviews, won the Lillian Smith Book Award, and later became a made-for-television motion picture.

Pamela Strobel
Courtesy of Tim Sulton/Rizzoli

South Carolina native “Princess” Pamela Strobel ruled a small realm, but her powers ranged far and wide. Her speakeasy-style restaurant in Manhattan was for three decades a hip salon, with regulars from Andy Warhol to Diana Ross. Her iconic Southern dishes influenced chefs nationwide, and her cookbook became a bible for a generation who yearned for the home cooking left behind in the Great Migration.

"R" is for Rhett, Robert Barnwell [1800-1876]. Congressman, US Senator. After serving in the General Assembly, Rhett was elected to Congress in 1837. In 1844 he was one of the organizers of the unsuccessful Bluffton Movement, but afterwards was recognized as the leader of the state’s fire-eaters who wanted South Carolina to leave the union. Elected to the U.S. Senate, he resigned after his radical faction lost a crucial election in 1851. He and his son acquired the Charleston Mercury, which, during the 1850s, became the leading voice of Southern radicalism.

"S" is for St. Matthew's Parish. Comprising the southern and eastern portions of modern Calhoun and Orangeburg counties, St. Matthew's Parish was established in 1768. An earlier attempt in 1765 to create a backcountry parish by combining Orangeburg and Amelia townships had been disallowed by King George III. With the creation of the townships in the 1730s, Europeans, especially German immigrants, settled the area. The parish church, a small wooden building, was built in 1765 on Halfway Swamp near present-day Lone Star in Calhoun County.

"R" is for Ravenel, Henry William [1814-1887]. Botanist, diarist. After graduating from the South Carolina College, Ravenel acquired Northampton plantation in Berkeley County. He settled into the life of a lowcountry planter and began a life-long collaboration with the country's leading botanists. He was fascinated with mycology—the study of fungi--and published two works: Fungi Caroliniani Exsiccati  [in five parts, 1852-1860] and Fungi Americani Exsiccati [in eight parts, 1878-1882].

"P" is for Pardo, Juan

May 10, 2017

"P" is for Pardo, Juan. Spanish soldier, explorer. In 1565, Pardo travelled to Spanish Florida as the captain of one of six military companies sent to reinforce the colony. His company was posted to Santa Elena, located on present-day Parris Island. He was ordered to explore for an overland route to the silver mines of Mexico—thought to be just several hundred miles inland. He never reached Mexico, but his two expeditions provided a valuable look at mid sixteenth century southeastern Indians. On his second expedition he built six forts, garrisoned with Spanish soldiers.

"O" is for Opportunity Schools. Dr. Wil Lou Gray, the state supervisor in adult education, created a boarding school for young people who could not attend public school or who had not gone further than the fifth grade. The school opened in August 1921 at the Tamassee DAR School in Oconee County to offer educational opportunities for undereducated young white women. For a decade the school operated during August on the campuses of Anderson, Erskine, Clemson, and Lander colleges. By 1931 it was co-educational and in 1936 the Opportunity School for Negroes opened at Vorhees.

"N" is for the New Era Club. Founded in Spartanburg in 1912, the New Era Club existed for only a short while, but served as the nucleus of South Carolina's first statewide women's suffrage organization. White and middle class in its make-up, the club began disguised as a study group.

"F" is for Fire-Baptized Holiness Church. Several different groups have used this name. The initial group was formed in Iowa and taught that a Christian could experience salvation, then sanctification, and then a "third blessing," a baptism of the Holy Ghost with fire. Missionaries came to South Carolina in the 1890s. In 1898 delegates from across the country met in Anderson to organize the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association. Under the leadership of the Rev. William E. Fuller, a number of black congregations split off and formed the Colored Fire-Baptized Holiness Church in 1908.

"E" is for the Education Accountability Act of 1998. The Education Accountability Act [known as the EAA] placed South Carolina in the mainstream of education accountability reform. It required the establishment of specific standards in math English/language arts, sciences, and social studies. These standards were to provide the basis for student assessment in grades three through eight as well as a high school exit exam. The legislation also called for end-of-course exams in certain high school courses. The purpose of these tests was to hold students and schools accountable for learning.

"D" is for Davis, James [1774-1838]. Physician, planter, legislator. Davis trained as a physician under Dr. George Ross in Laurens District. He moved to Columbia in 1810, established a successful medical practice, and was active in civic affairs. In alliance with Samuel Farrow and William Crafts, he lobbied the legislature to establish a lunatic asylum in Columbia. After the General Assembly provided the funding, he served on the commission that oversaw the asylum's construction.

"C" is for Campbell, Lord William [ca. 1730-1780]. Governor. A younger son of the fourth duke of Argyll, William entered the royal navy in 1745. In 1763, as captain of HMS Nightingale, he put into Charleston where he met and married Sarah Izard, a wealthy heiress. He returned home and was elected to Parliament. He served as governor of Nova Scotia before being appointed governor of South Carolina in 1773. Arriving in the colony in June 1775, he was met with incipient rebellion that he neither understood nor quelled. On September 15, 1775, he fled the colony for his life.

An advertisement for the fair appears in the Keowee Courier (Pickens Court House, S.C.), October 18, 1905.
South Carolina Digital Newspaper Room/https://library.sc.edu/blogs/newspaper/

Dr. Rodger Stroup, retired Director of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, is taking a deep dive into the history of the South Carolina State Fair, doing research for an upcoming book on the subject. Stroup talks with Walter Edgar about the history of South Carolina’s fair—which goes back farther than you think—in context with other states’ fairs.

All Stations: Fri, May 05, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, May 07, 4 pm

"B" is for Barhamville Academy. Founded in 1828 by Dr. Elias Marks, Barhamville Academy was the common name for the South Carolina Female Collegiate Institute, an institution for higher education that was located outside Columbia. The school was located on property Dr.Marks named in honor of his late wife Jane Barham, a teacher who shared his commitment to women's education.  Barahamville had a rigorous four-year classical curriculum and was considered to be one of the best such schools in the South.

"G" is for Grand Strand. South Carolina’s Grand Strand is an uninterrupted strip of sandy beaches that officially stretches along sixty miles of Horry and Georgetown Counties from the North Carolina border to Winyah Bay. Unofficially the Grand Strand has referred to the greater Myrtle Beach area since the early 1920s. The Grand Strand is an unbroken strip of municipalities and communities strung together along US Highway 17. The first visitors were middle class and blue-color families from the Carolinas, but today's vacationers come from all over.

 "F" is for the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina [1669-1698]. Part Constitution and part promotional tract, the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina comprised a much-revised document that the Lords Proprietors created to govern their New World province. Among the guiding principles of the constitutions were that landownership was the bedrock of society and that Carolina’s government should avoid creating a "numerous democracy." The proprietors’ insistence on provisions for considerable religious liberty was innovative.

"D" is for Drayton, Percival [1812-1865]. Naval Officer. Born in Charleston, Drayton’s family moved to Philadelphia in the 1830s. At fifteen, he was appointed a midshipman in the US Navy. Eventually he commanded a variety of vessels, including the Mississippi, the navy’s third steam-powered warship. In 1861, he held the rank of commander. While many southern-born officers resigned their commissions, Drayton chose to remain with the Union. In October 1861 he commanded a ship in the Port Royal Expedition.

"C" is for Charleston Hospital Workers’ Strike [1969]. In Charleston in 1969, more than 400 African American hospital workers (mostly female) went on strike against the all-white administrations of the Medical College Hospital and Charleston County Hospital. The strike against the Medical College lasted one hundred days during the spring and summer; the one at Charleston County went on for an additional three weeks.

"B" is for Bishopville

Apr 24, 2017

"B" is for Bishopville [Lee County; population 3,670]. Bishopville, the seat of Lee County, traces its origins to prehistoric days when two Indian trails crossed near the future site of the town. European settlement began in the late 18th century and, for a time was known as Singleton’s Cross Roads. In 1821 Dr. Jacques Bishop purchased property in the area and operated a general store—by the late 1830s the little settlement was called Bishopville. The town has also served as a business and cultural center throughout its existence.

"R" is for Rivers, John Minott [1903—1988]. Broadcasting executive. After college, Rivers, a native of Charleston, moved to Greenville. There he became friends with the president of the Liberty Life Insurance Company that operated WCSC radio in Charleston. In 1938 he became president of South Carolina Broadcasting Company, which operated WCSC. He later purchased the station. In 1948 he began operation of an FM station. In 1953, he put WCSC-TV, South Carolina’s first VHF television station on the air.

“P” is for Pike, John Martin

Apr 20, 2017

“P” is for Pike, John Martin [1840-1932]. Clergyman, editor, publisher. A Canadian and ordained Methodist clergyman, Pike was invited to preach at Columbia’s Washington Street Methodist Church. He subsequently moved to the state and served churches in in Lynchburg, Sumter, Summerville, and Charleston. In 1893 he became editor of a periodical, The Way of Faith. Through his involvement with the Oliver Gospel Mission in Columbia, Pike became a pivotal figure in the spread of Holiness and Pentecostal strains of Protestantism in South Carolina.

"M" is for McNair, Robert Evander [1923-2007]. Attorney, legislator, governor. After serving in the Pacific theater during World War II, McNair graduated from USC and moved to Allendale—the hometown of his wife, Josephine. From 1951 until 1963 he represented Allendale County in the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 1962 he was elected lieutenant governor. When Governor Donald Russell resigned in April 1965, McNair became governor. He was elected to a full term in 1966.

"L" is for Loggerhead Turtle. State Reptile. The loggerhead turtle, a threatened species, is one of the world’s eight living species of turtles--and evolved some sixty-five to seventy million years ago. At birth, hatchlings are about two inches long. Adults can weight between 200 and250 pounds. The animal is reddish brown and yellow and has a distinctive large head—the source of its name--with powerful jaws enabling it to crush clams, crustaceans, and other food. Its great size and hard shell protect adult turtles from most predators.

"H" is for Highway 301

Apr 17, 2017

"H" is for Highway 301. Construction of this major US highway in South Carolina began in 1932, when the federal government began taking over the maintenance and construction of many state roads. The route began in Baltimore, Maryland and ended in Sarasota, Florida—crossing through many towns in eastern South Carolina: including Dillon, Latta, Florence, Manning, Olanta, Sumerton, Bamberg, and Allendale. From the North Carolina border to the Savannah River, Highway 301 covers a distance of approximately 180 miles.