S.C. Encyclopedia

HISTORY:  Women’s suffrage in South Carolina

HISTORY:  Women’s suffrage in South Carolina

S.C. Encyclopedia | The enfranchisement of women in South Carolina was first discussed publicly during the Reconstruction period. A women’s rights convention held in Columbia in December 1870 received a warm letter of support from Governor R. K. Scott. In 1872 the General Assembly endorsed a petition of the American Woman Suffrage Association to grant women political rights, but it adjourned without taking any specific action. The earliest suffrage clubs in the state were not organized until the 1890s, but suffragists were beginning to receive notice. Writing for the Charleston News and Courier in 1882, the journalist N. G. Gonzales described the typical suffragist as “thirty to sixty, a majority of considerable embonpoint, a majority passable looking, a majority with gray hair and a majority wearing bright colors.”

HISTORY:  Mepkin Abbey

HISTORY:  Mepkin Abbey

S.C. Encyclopedia | Located on the Cooper River, Mepkin Abbey has a diverse history. In its early life the property served as the seven-thousand-acre rice plantation and family home of the eighteenth-century statesman Henry Laurens. Surviving traces of the plantation include a family cemetery and a large oak avenue. In 1936 the noted publisher Henry Luce, who established both Time and Life magazines, purchased the property.

While living at Mepkin, Luce and his wife, Claire Booth, hired the architect Edward Durell Stone to construct several buildings on the site, including a forester’s lodge, a laundry building, a pump house, and a farm manager’s house, made mostly of brick. Stone received his training at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spent his early career designing houses in the international style. The buildings at Mepkin reflect his modernist sensibility. The Luces also hired the landscape architect Loutrel Briggs, designer of many important gardens in South Carolina, to create a formal composition of camellias and azaleas overlooking the Cooper River.

A 2014 photo of the bowling alley that is part of the story of the Orangeburg Massacre.  Photo by Andy Brack

FOCUS: The Orangeburg Massacre, 50 years ago

By Jack Bass | On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, police gunfire left three young black men dying and twenty-seven wounded on the campus of South Carolina State College in Orangeburg. Exactly thirty-three years later, Governor Jim Hodges addressed an overflow crowd there in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, referring directly to the “Orangeburg Massacre”—an identifying term for the event that had been controversial—and called what happened “a great tragedy for our state.”

The audience that day included eight men in their fifties—including a clergyman, a college professor, and a retired army lieutenant colonel—who had been shot that fateful night. For the first time they were included in the annual memorial service to the three students who died—Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith. Their deaths, more than two years before the gunfire by Ohio National Guardsmen that killed four on the campus of Kent State University, marked the first such tragedy on any American college campus.

HISTORY: Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel

HISTORY: Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  The Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel is an unfinished nineteenth-century railroad tunnel located near Walhalla. The variation of the name “Stump House” was drawn from the legend of a Cherokee woman who lived on the mountain with her white husband. Rejected by both their respective communities, the couple lived on the mountain in a log home built atop stumps.

by · 01/29/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY: Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

HISTORY: Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

S.C. Encyclopedia  |   Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1932 as a wintering ground for migratory waterfowl. Located in Charleston County and stretching for twenty-two miles along the coast between Charleston and the Santee River delta, Cape Romain is a rich natural resource. In its shallow bays, tides combine the life-giving nourishment of the ocean with the nutrient-laden freshwaters of rivers to make one of the most productive environments on earth. Plants and animals from the land, rivers, and ocean are all present at Cape Romain, and all are dependent on the delicate balance of the marshlands.

by · 01/22/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY:  Citizens’ councils in South Carolina

HISTORY:  Citizens’ councils in South Carolina

S.C. Encyclopedia  |   Founded in 1954 in Indianola, Mississippi, Citizens’ Councils quickly spread across the South. The organizations promoted membership as a “respectable” way for disgruntled segregationists to protest civil rights activism. The councils distributed pro-segregation propaganda and attempted to protect the legality of racial segregation throughout the South. They publicly renounced violence but encouraged organized economic pressure against African Americans and whites who were sympathetic to the black freedom struggle.

by · 01/16/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY:  ACE Basin

HISTORY:  ACE Basin

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  The ACE Basin consists of around 350,000 acres in the watershed of the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Rivers in the South Carolina Lowcountry, which drains one-fifth of the state. The ACE Basin encompasses a range of ecosystem types from forested uplands to tidal marsh (salt, brackish, and fresh water). The basin is home for more than 260 permanent and seasonal bird species and seventeen rare or endangered species, including the wood stork and the loggerhead turtle.

History, as much as geography, unites the three rivers. By the 1750s the rivers were lined with plantations dedicated to rice production and using African slaves for the arduous labor required. Most plantations controlled tidal flows by a series of floodgates (rice trunks), dikes, and canals to grow vast amounts of rice.

by · 01/08/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY:  Circular Congregational Church, Charleston

HISTORY:  Circular Congregational Church, Charleston

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  Circular Congregational Church, dedicated in 1892, is the fourth house of worship on this site at 150 Meeting Street in Charleston. Its Richardsonian Romanesque style reflects Charleston’s tradition of adopting current architectural fashion for ecclesiastical buildings, despite the city’s famous conservatism in residential design.

Followers of many creeds populated early Charleston. The city’s first congregations, St. Philip’s (Church of England) and the Dissenter’s Society, were organized in 1681. Builders of the “White Meeting House” that gave Meeting Street its name, the Dissenters included Presbyterians, Huguenots, and Congregationalists. French Protestants soon had their own church and others withdrew to form First (Scots) Presbyterian, but the independent church flourished, dedicating a larger building in 1732.

by · 01/01/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY:  Early Judaism in South Carolina

HISTORY:  Early Judaism in South Carolina

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  Following the Revolutionary War, South Carolina’s Jewish population surged. When Columbia became the state capital in 1786, seven Jewish men from Charleston were among the first to buy town lots.

Jews arrived in the British colony of Carolina with the first wave of European settlement. A new outpost in the mercantile traffic of the Atlantic basin, Carolina offered economic opportunities, as well as risks, and a degree of religious tolerance remarkable for the time. The colony’s Fundamental Constitutions of 1669 granted freedom of worship to “Jews, Heathens, and other Dissenters from the purity of the Christian Religion.” Although the colonial assembly never endorsed the provision, British Charleston became known as a place where people of all faiths—except Catholics—could do business and practice their religion without interference. In 1696 Jews in Charleston allied with French Huguenots to safeguard their rights to trade and the next year to secure citizenship.

by · 12/18/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia
HISTORY:  South Caroliniana Library

HISTORY:  South Caroliniana Library

S.C. Encyclopedia  |  The South Caroliniana Library building was completed in 1840 as the central library building for South Carolina College (later the University of South Carolina). It was the first freestanding college library building in the United States, predating those of Harvard (1841), Yale (1846), and Princeton (1873).

The structure contains design elements from several architects, most notably the South Carolina native and federal architect Robert Mills. A typical Mills architectural feature is the curved stairway leading to the second-floor reading room, which was closely modeled after the original Library of Congress.

by · 12/11/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Features, S.C. Encyclopedia