South Carolina State University

South Carolina State University

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South Carolina State University (SCSU) is a historically black university located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The university aims to provide education and service to all the citizens of the state.SCSU was established as the state's sole public college for black youth. Its students major in agribusiness, accounting, English, art, drama, merchandising, psychology, physics, and political science.South Carolina State University is considered among the national leaders in producing African-American students with baccalaureate degrees in biology, business, education, computer science/mathematics, engineering technology, and English language/literature. The university also is renowned as one of the three universities in South Carolina to offer a doctoral program in educational administration and one of two schools in the state to offer a master's degree program in speech-language pathology.Through its extension program, the university sends farm and home demonstration agents into rural counties to provide information to impoverished black farm families.During the Great Depression, the Rosenwald Fund and the General Education Board helped the university to survive.Following World War II, the state legislature began a graduate program and a law school at the university. The additions were intended to encourage black students to enroll there, rather than at University of South Carolina's graduate and legal education programs. The legislature also provided enough funding at the college to make it a "separate but equal" higher-education institution in South Carolina.Since 1966, SCSU has been open to white students and faculties, but the university has largely retained its mission and character as a historically black institution.The agricultural program of the university was terminated in 1971, and the college farm was changed into a community recreation center comprising a golf course, soccer field, and baseball field.Currently, the university enrolls nearly 5,000 students.

University History

Founded in 1801, then-South Carolina College flourished pre-Civil War, overcame postwar struggles, was rechartered in 1906 as a university and transformed itself as a national institution in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Palmetto State established South Carolina College — the University of South Carolina's precursor — on Dec. 19, 1801, as part of an effort to unite South Carolinians in the wake of the American Revolution. The state's leaders saw the new college as a way to promote "the good order and harmony" of the state. It was also a part of the Southern public college movement spurred by Thomas Jefferson.


The campus grew around the Horseshoe's quadrangle. In 1805, the first building — Rutledge — was completed. For a time, Rutledge served as classroom, lab, library, chapel, and student and faculty housing until DeSaussure was completed in 1809.


In 1855, a fire gutted Rutledge and five years later South Carolina's secession from the Union unleashed the devastation of war. Without students, the college closed in 1861 and, in ensuing decades, struggled to regain its former status.


State leaders revived the institution in 1866 as the University of South Carolina with ambitious plans for a diverse university that included the first African-Americans to serve on the board of trustees (1868) and the first African-American students (1873). The University of South Carolina became the only Southern state university to admit and grant degrees to African-American students during the Reconstruction era. In 1877, state leaders closed the university and reopened it in 1880 as an all-white agricultural college.

Richard T. Greener, the university's first African-American professor, taught during the Reconstruction Era, from 1873 through 1877. Learn more about his accomplishments and the campus monument placed in his honor next to Thomas Cooper Library or on the Remembering the Days podcast.


In 1893 the state legislature mandated that women be allowed to enroll. The first female student — Frances Guignard Gibbes — was admitted on September 24, 1895. The university's first female graduate was Mattie Jean Adams, who was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in 1898. While women were allowed to attend, they were not yet permitted to live on campus and had to live with family members. The first Garnet and Black yearbook was published in 1899.

In the early decades of the 20th century, South Carolina made strides toward becoming a comprehensive university. In 1917 it became the first state-supported college or university in South Carolina to earn regional accreditation. The Great Depression temporarily stalled progress, but the outbreak of World War II brought U.S. Navy training programs to campus. Enrollment more than doubled in the post war era as veterans took advantage of the G.I. Bill. In the 1920s, women reached 25 percent of the student population.

During the war years, female students were allowed to live in traditionally male dormitories. As male students began to return to campus, the university built the first residence hall for female students on campus, later named Wade Hampton College.

The first brick of the Horeshoe pathways was laid on Nov. 23, 1931. The president of the university at the time, Leonard Baker, ceremoniously placed the brick and the last ones were laid by the end of the fall semester. Learn more about this Great Depression-era project on the Remembering the Days podcast.


In the 1950s, the university extended its presence beyond Columbia with the establishment of campuses in communities across South Carolina. In the 1960s, the university began to focus on research, recruiting national-caliber faculty, and adding new schools and colleges.

For several decades in the 20th century, African Americans had applied for admittance to the university and were denied because of statewide segregationist sentiments. On Sept. 11, 1963, Henrie D. Monteith, Robert Anderson and James Solomon became the first African-American students to enroll at the university in the 20th century. In 1965, Monteith became the first African-American graduate, earning a B.S. in biochemistry.


The university experienced explosive growth as the baby boom generation entered college. Enrollment stood at 5,660 in 1960, but by 1979 had reached nearly 26,000 students on the Columbia campus alone. During the era, the university put new emphasis on research, and introduced innovative degree programs as well as a number of new schools and colleges. The original campus, which contains the Horseshoe, was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.


The state's first school of public health — later named the Arnold School of Public Health — opens on campus in 1975. A renovation program that began in 1972 restored the 19th-century Horseshoe buildings and created a home for the South Carolina Honors College, which was established in 1977. Thomas Cooper Library was built in 1976.

In the 1980s, the university reached a new milestone — women comprised 50 percent of the student population. Beginning in 1981, female students outnumbered male students at South Carolina for the first time. To date, the trend has never reversed. Learn more about the experience of women on campus on the Remembering the Days podcast.


A concerted drive to achieve national and international recognition brought the university into the 21st century. World leaders such as UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and other foreign dignitaries such as Pope John Paul II visited.

In 2001, the University of South Carolina observed its bicentennial celebration.

The university's first LEED-certified building, the Green Quad opened. A sustainable living-learning community, the Green Quad includes three residences and a Living/Learning Center in the heart of the quadrangle.


The university's Colonial Life Arena opened in 2002. The Norman J. Arnold Public Health Research Center opened in 2006. The university established the Innovista "innovation district" to develop four key research strengths — biomedicine, nanotechnology, environmental science and alternative fuels.


A series of athletics facility improvements delivered Founders Park baseball stadium (2009), the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center (2010) and in 2012 the Rice Athletics Center, Gamecock Park and Tennis Center.

The university's online Palmetto College was founded for students seeking to complete bachelor’s or graduate degree programs through the system’s four degree-granting campuses.

650 Lincoln, the university's first public/private partnership residence hall, opens.

On December 5, 2017, two plaques were dedicated on the Horseshoe honoring enslaved men and women who helped build or worked at South Carolina College before the Civil War. The first, located near the President's House, identifies the last remaining kitchen and slave quarters on campus while the other, near the top of the Horseshoe, recognizes the invaluable contributions of enslaved workers from making materials and building construction to daily campus life. Learn more about the experience of one enslaved worker named Jack on the Remembering the Days podcast.

University of South Carolina Alumni Association established the college's first LGBTQ+ Alumni Affinity Group. The first floor of the Byrnes Building became the Veterans and Military Center of Excellence, a dedicated area for military-affiliated faculty and students to gather and access campus services.


South Carolina College Edit

The University was founded as South Carolina College on December 19, 1801 by an act of the General Assembly after Governor John Drayton pushed for its foundation on November 23, 1801. The establishment of a publicly funded college at the capital was intended to unite and promote harmony between the Lowcountry and the Backcountry. On January 10, 1805, having an initial enrollment of nine students, the college commenced classes with a traditional classical curriculum. Jonathan Maxcy was its first president and served until his death in 1820.

With the generous support of the General Assembly, South Carolina College acquired a reputation as the leading institution of the South and attracted several noteworthy scholars, including Francis Lieber, Thomas Cooper, and Joseph LeConte. However, the college suffered greatly and lost most of its prestige when it closed during the American Civil War.

Civil War Edit

The students formed a cadet company in December 1860 to aid the Southern cause, but an order by Governor Pickens prevented them from leaving Columbia. Undeterred, the students disbanded their company on April 12 and formed a new company while en route to Charleston so that the governor's previous holding orders would be invalid. Once in Charleston, General Beauregard assigned the company to guard Sullivan's Island, much to the dismay of the students who greatly desired to be a part of the Battle of Fort Sumter. After three weeks of guard duty, the student cadet company returned to Columbia to a hero's welcome.

Later in June 1861, the students reformed the company and requested to be accepted for service. Governor Pickens accepted their request provided that the faculty also approved the venture, but the faculty did not give its consent because they did not want the college to needlessly be closed. The frustrated students even went as far as negotiating service of their unit with President Jefferson Davis, who agreed, but again Governor Pickens denied their use because the faculty was not willing to let them go.

When the students returned in October, they reorganized their military unit as the "third company." The Union attack of the South Carolina coast in November at the Battle of Port Royal led Governor Pickens to agree to their request to be mustered for active duty, but President Longstreet and the faculty steadfastly maintained their opposition to the students leaving for service. However, with the support of the governor the students ignored the protests of the faculty and departed for the Lowcountry. Governor Pickens kept the student company in Charleston to serve as his bodyguard and because the Union forces at Port Royal did not press their advantage, he released the students from military service on December 10.

Seventy-two students were present for classes in January 1862 and the college functioned as best it could until a call by the Confederate government for South Carolina to fill its quota of 18,000 soldiers. A system of conscription would begin on March 20 for all men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, so on March 8 all of the students at the college volunteered for service in order to avoid the dishonor of having been conscripted. Despite the depletion of students, the professors issued a notice that the college would temporarily close and would reopen to those under eighteen. When the college reopened on March 17, only nine students showed up for classes and it became quite apparent to all that the college would not last past the end of the term in June.

On June 25 with the consent of the state government, the Confederate authorities took possession of the college buildings and converted them into a hospital. After many unsuccessful attempts to reopen the college, the trustees passed a resolution on December 2, 1863 that officially closed the college. By February 1865, Sherman's army had reached the outskirts of Columbia and the college was spared from destruction by the Union forces because of its use as a hospital. In addition, a company of the 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment was stationed at the campus on February 17 to protect it from harm and to thwart off pillaging Yankee soldiers.

Radical University Edit

The Union army took possession of the college on May 24, 1865 and although the future for the college under military control, General John Porter Hatch sent a letter on June 19 to the remaining professors at the college that it should reopen as soon as possible. The appointment of Benjamin Franklin Perry as provisional governor of South Carolina on June 30 by President Andrew Johnson restored civilian rule to the state. Perry reinstated the trustees to their positions and the board met on September 20 to authorize the college to reopen on the first Monday of January in 1866.

In a message to the legislature in October, Perry sought to convert the college into a university because with the state in an impoverished situation, it would provide a more practical education. The model that he wished to follow was the elective system used by the University of Virginia. Perry was succeeded in November as governor by James Lawrence Orr, a graduate of the University of Virginia, who also wished to see the college adopt the curriculum of his alma mater. Little opposition developed to change the College into a university and bill to establish the University of South Carolina was passed by the General Assembly on December 19, 1865, sixty-four years after the institution's foundation.

The schools of the university remained largely the same as they were in the College, with the addition of a school of engineering and mathematics. For the students, the difference was great because they were given much more freedom than afforded in the College, and they were given the ability to choose their classes rather than having to submit to a compulsory curriculum identical for all. Perry and Orr believed that the relaxed atmosphere at the University would allow it to prosper and reach three or four hundred students in a few years. [1]

The reopening of the University was pushed back to January 10 due to the dilapidated condition of the buildings on the campus and to celebrate the anniversary of the original opening of South Carolina College. Fewer than fifty students attended in the first term, which alarmed Governor Orr. He recommended to the General Assembly that schools of law and medicine be added, which the legislature established in 1866. Despite this step, the University faced an ominous future as the state was beginning to undergo Reconstruction.

After Radical Republicans gained control of the state government in 1868, they sought to integrate the University the constitution of 1868 had stated that all universities of the state should be "free and open to all the children and youths of the State, without regard to race and color." [2] Former Governor Orr urged the legislature to preserve the University as an institution for the whites and to convert the dormant campus of The Citadel into a college for the blacks. Governor Robert Kingston Scott ignored this request and recommended that the legislature bring the University into compliance with the Morrill Act to make it qualify as a land grant college and accept federal aid it had to remove race as an admissions criteria.

The University Act of 1869 reorganized the University and provided it with generous state financial support. An amendment was added to the act by W. J. Whipper, a black representative from Beaufort, to prevent racial discrimination from the admissions policy of the University. The legislature elected two black trustees to the governing board of the University on March 9, 1869. Franklin J. Moses, Jr., state representative and speaker of the house, also supported admission of all races to the state school. In October 1873, Henry E. Hayne, the Republican secretary of state, was admitted as the first black student he was of mostly white ancestry with a white politician father.

The admission of black students to the University was inevitable, and three factors contributed to this. First, the University never achieved a level of enrollment that was commensurate with its financial backing by the legislature. Enrollment never exceeded one hundred students, whereas the enrollment at Wofford College exceeded that mark in 1870. White students were believed to avoid the university from fear it would be integrated. [ citation needed ] The second reason was the failure of the state to provide an adequate public university for the education of blacks. It was trying to compensate rapidly for the state's failure to educate blacks in the antebellum years. In 1872, funds were allocated for the Agricultural and Mechanical Institute at Orangeburg, but they were badly mismanaged. Black legislators called for the opening of the University to black students. Finally, the state Republican party split for the election of 1872 between Radical and moderate factions. The Radicals won and pressed their advantage by electing four blacks to the Board of Trustees, thus constituting a majority.

The legislature established a normal school to train teachers for the lower grades on the campus of the University as well as a preparatory school, since most black students of the state had been deprived of strong academic training in years past. In addition, to encourage enrollment by blacks, tuition and other fees were abolished. On October 7, 1873, Henry E. Hayne, the Secretary of State of South Carolina, became the first black student when he registered for the fall session in the medical college of the University. [3] [4] As a result of his enrollment, three professors resigned, and some white students left.

On October 8, enrollment stood at eight students, seven of whom were the sons of professors. The number increased to twenty-two students after many politicians registered with the University to show that it was open for both races, yet few of the politicians attended classes. Troubled by the low enrollment, State Treasurer of South Carolina, Francis L. Cardozo went to Washington and persuaded a handful of students at Howard University to transfer to the University. Drastic measures were required to increase the number of students and the legislature passed an act in February 1874 to provide for 124 scholarships of $200. The conservative press denounced this move because with the absence of tuition, it meant that students were effectively being paid to attend the University, but poor students were often critical to family support, and scholarships helped them cover living expenses. [5] Many of the scholarship students could not meet the entrance requirements into the freshman class, so the faculty assembled them into a sub-freshman class. This plan was abolished in 1875 as the legislature had not authorized it.

The scholarships achieved their desired effect in increasing enrollment and by 1875, 90% of the student body was black. [6] The University of South Carolina holds the distinction of being the only state university in the South to admit and grant degrees to black students during Reconstruction. When the Democrats regained control of the state legislature in 1876, they quickly acted to end admission of blacks, closing the University on June 7, 1877 by a joint resolution of the General Assembly. They passed legislation authorizing only white students and setting up Claflin College as the state institution for black students.

Redeemer University Edit

It was far from certain that the University would be reopened and debate ensued in the General Assembly over the necessity of the University. Many legislators, led by Martin Witherspoon Gary, felt that the state had other obligations and it was not practical for the state to spend money on the University. In addition, these legislators were from the Upstate and had no attachment to the University. They were not part of the planter elite and had attended other schools. An act to reorganize the University was passed by the state Senate by two votes on March 2, 1878, but it did not provide for the appropriation of funds to the reopening. The act specified that the University was to consist of two branches, one styled as the South Carolina College in Columbia for the whites and Claflin College in Orangeburg for the blacks. In order to mollify agitation by the farming interests, a section of the act specified that an agricultural department was to be established with the University.

On October 5, 1880 the institution was reopened as the South Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and largely derived its funding from the Morrill Act. Despite its name as an agriculture and mechanical college, few students showed an interest in either area. Only nine students worked the 20-acre (81,000 m 2 ) college farm for the first session and just twenty-one attended the mechanical shop. Because the state could not afford a liberal arts University, it took advantage of the Morrill Act in order to acquire federal funds, and offered some agriculture program to satisfy its requirements.

By 1881, the state's financial situation was markedly improved and Governor Johnson Hagood called for greater expenditures on higher education. With a much higher appropriation, the trustees abolished the farming and mechanical foreman positions, in 1882 restoring the institution to its antebellum status as the South Carolina College. An agriculture department remained, but little of the curriculum was agricultural, and it was essentially identical to the general science program. The department suffered from neglect because its professor, John McLaren McBryde, was also the President of the institution and in that position he focused most of his energies.

In the latter years of the 1880s, the College increasingly came under attack from religious groups and agricultural interests. The denominational colleges, struggling to rebuild from the Civil War, demanded that free tuition be ended at the college, and the General Assembly capitulated in 1887 by fixing tuition rates at $40 per year. Led by Ben Tillman [who owned 400 acres as a planter, cultivated by tenant farmers], the agrarians pushed to establish a separate agriculture college because they believed that the College was not providing an adequate education in agriculture. Despite Tillman's rhetoric, a majority of the students were sons of farmers. At that time, the most advanced agricultural research was being conducted at Cornell and the University of California, both liberal arts colleges. [7]

To take advantage of the Hatch Act and to assuage the concerns of the farmers, the legislature passed an act in 1887 to reorganize the college as the University of South Carolina with six schools and colleges. An agricultural experiment station was set up, the college farm was expanded by 100 acres (0.40 km 2 ), and a well-developed agriculture program was initiated. The University was so successful that Ben Tillman announced his retirement from public life.

Thomas Green Clemson bequeathed his estate in 1888 to establish and endow a separate agriculture college in the state. Tillman reemerged to carry the cause to the legislature and in 1889, Governor Richardson signed the bill accepting the bequest. The Morrill and Hatch funds were transferred to the new agriculture college in June 1890, and the University's agricultural department was closed. The vitality of the University was threatened during the 1890 campaign when Ben Tillman advocated its closing. Although he won the election for governor, he completed reorganization of the university as a liberal arts college during his term. [8]

Wounded institution Edit

The University was reorganized as the South Carolina College in 1891, and it struggled to attract students through the rest of the decade. It was restricted to teaching the subjects of law, literature, classics, and theoretical science. [9] The prestige of the College had fallen such that in 1893, a proposal was offered in the legislature to close the campus and provide homes for Confederate veterans on it instead. [10] With enrollment lagging and the state lacking a liberal arts school for women, the legislature passed a bill in 1893 that mandated the College to admit women. On September 24, 1895, Frances Guignard Gibbes was the first woman to be admitted to the College, and in 1898 Mattie Jean Adams was the first to graduate. [11]

Although Tillman had crippled the institution when he became governor, he did not let it die. The number of students steadily declined from a high of 235 in 1889 to a low of 68 in 1894 but despite the urging of legislators to close it, Tillman ensured through his governorship that the College received an adequate level of funding. Tillman re-established the normal school at the College, long dormant since the end of Reconstruction. In addition, the legislature authorized adding engineering to the College in 1894 despite a previous prohibition.

Reemergence as a university Edit

The victory by Duncan Clinch Heyward in the gubernatorial election of 1902 marked the end of Tillmanism and the return of support by the governor's office for the institution. Heyward pushed the legislature to convert the College into a University in 1905 to mark the centennial by providing the state with a capstone for its educational system. The effort failed when legislators feared that The Citadel was to be absorbed into the University, but the measure was reintroduced in 1906 and passed on February 17 to charter the institution for the last time as the University of South Carolina.

For the next forty years, the institution struggled to find its identity as it cycled through periods of achieving popularity versus academic excellence. Under the vigorous leadership of President Samuel Chiles Mitchell from 1909 to 1913, enrollment at the University doubled he brought the University to the state by setting up extension courses in 1910. Incessant criticism by Governor Coleman Livingston Blease over Mitchell's handling of University affairs led to his resignation and the trustees elected William Spenser Currell with the intention of raising the level of scholarship at the University. Entrance requirements were made more stringent and Currell's efforts were rewarded when in 1917 the University became the first state-supported college or university in South Carolina to earn accreditation by the Southern Association. [12]

The entrance of America into World War I was enthusiastically supported by the student body, and the vast majority participated in the ROTC unit at the University. To compensate for the loss of enrollment because of conscription, the war department replaced the ROTC program with the Student Army Training Corps. After the war, the SATC was disbanded and military training was made compulsory for freshman and sophomore students in the ROTC program. The ROTC program was scrapped in 1921 due to lack of interest.

An aura of stagnation existed at the University in the early 1920s and the trustees elected William Davis Melton in 1922 to revive its fortunes. Melton launched a campaign to popularize the institution by convincing the people of the state that it was not exclusively for the elite or a special interest group, but rather for the masses. He gained a major increase in the appropriation by the legislature for the University, and in 1924 student enrollment surpassed that of Clemson for the first time. Following Melton's death in 1926, Davison McDowell Douglas was elected President to consolidate the gains and tighten academic standards. The board of trustees called upon James Rion McKissick in 1936 to return to Melton's policies of popularizing the University.

McKissick established the University News Service to combat perceived misconceptions of the University and to promote the high moral character of the students. Due in large part to his efforts, enrollment reached record numbers and the University entered the 1940s with a renewed sense of optimism. Yet, the world soon became engulfed by World War II. To help with the loss of enrollment because of mobilization, the University received a Naval ROTC detachment. The University was quickly transformed into a Naval school when the Navy set up a V-5 Navy Flight Preparatory School, a Civil Aeronautics Administration-War Training Service program, and a V-12 Navy College Training Program. The V-12 program was the most important to the University because the trainees were enrolled in classes they became active participants in student life and extracurricular activities.

New and greater university Edit

By November 1944 it was clear that World War II would soon be coming to a close and the servicemen would return to enroll in the university in massive numbers due in large part because of the passage of the G.I. Bill. Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives and trustee of the University Solomon Blatt unveiled a proposal called the "new and greater university" plan that would move the university from its present site to a 1,200-acre (4.9 km 2 ) site just outside Columbia. At the time, the university was the smallest state university in the South and a larger campus would more easily allow for expansion at much less cost. The idea of a move came from that of the relocation of Louisiana State University in 1925 and it was envisioned that a new campus would provide the impetus for the University of South Carolina "to establish itself as a great American state university." [13]

Blatt obtained support from all the key players in the politics of South Carolina to facilitate the proposal: Governor Olin D. Johnston, Governor-elect Ransome Judson Williams, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Edgar Allan Brown, and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Morris Tuten. The Board of Trustees approved the plan in December 1944 by a vote of 17–2, although complaints were issued from the dissenting voters that the decision was made with too much haste and without any input from the public. In addition, Blatt chose Navy Rear Admiral Norman Murray Smith as the President of the University in large part because he held connections in the political establishments of South Carolina and the federal government necessary to secure funds for the relocation of the university.

However, Blatt's proposal caused an intense uproar [ clarification needed ] in the state because alumni and students felt that it would needlessly sever the university from its antebellum tradition. [ citation needed ] Other complaints arose that the process itself did not allow for public input and it was detested as a product of the Barnwell Ring. Even with the outpouring of condemnation, municipalities lobbied to have the University moved to their locale such as Camden, Cheraw, Georgetown, Manning, Spartanburg, Sumter, Kershaw County and Oconee County. [14] Blatt realized that his proposal in February 1945 would not receive the necessary support in the legislature and he modified it so that the University would expand upon its existing area. This idea was warmly received by the alumni and students, but it died in the Finance Committee after Senator Edgar Brown declined to take up the matter.

After World War II, enrollment at the University swelled from the influx of veterans. They were wholeheartedly welcomed by President Smith who actively campaigned for their attendance and he announced that every qualified veteran would be admitted to the University. The vast majority of South Carolina veterans chose to attend the University because of its hospitable atmosphere, but also for other reasons. They did not want to attend Clemson or The Citadel because "the prospect of returning home to attend a military college was distasteful for the older men leaving the military after fighting the largest war in world history." [15] In addition, Clemson's rural location and its self-imposed restriction on the number of students made it inaccessible for a large number of veterans. The University offered several special programs to meet the needs of the veterans and it continued an accelerated calendar until 1949. It was at this point in history that the two universities switched reputations and missions. Carolina became known as the university for the common man and an institution accessible for all whereas Clemson settled into a status of elitism. [15]

President Smith faced increasing criticism through his tenure because he failed to articulate a clear policy for the University's future and he did not campaign for the legislature to appropriate enough funds for its needs. [ citation needed ] As president of a public university, Smith's chief responsibility was to be its publicist and develop ties with the political power of the state. Instead, Sol Blatt grew tired of having to carry the burden for the University in the legislature and Governor Thurmond felt that he received an icy reception from the administration. In 1952, Smith resigned and the protégé of Governor Byrnes, Donald S. Russell, was elected President by the Board of Trustees.

Growth and prosperity Edit

The ascendancy of Russell was crucial for the University at a critical moment in its history because he brought youth and dynamic leadership to the Presidency. His vision for the University was for it to be the capstone of the state's higher education system and for it to be the senior partner to the other state colleges. Russell's first step toward building a great university was the strengthening of the faculty by bringing in nationally known professors. Secondly, he improved the academics at the University through the expansion of courses, the revamping of programs and the introduction of entrance examinations. A report conducted by MIT to overhaul the engineering department became the standard used by the American Society for Engineering Education to accredit all engineering schools. [16] In response to the ruling by the Supreme Court of Brown v. Board of Education, the University instituted entrance examinations so as to prevent the mass rush of black high school graduates to enroll at USC. The examinations were also welcomed because they would promote individual merit over wealth or connections and USC became the first college to introduce entrance examinations. Thirdly, a massive building and renovation program was initiated and it was made possible through the acquisition of the properties on the southern boundary of the campus. The renaissance enjoyed by the University became evident by the speakers for commencement addresses and special convocations. Among the distinguished who came to speak at the University were John F. Kennedy, Carl Sandburg, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., René Pleven, and John Foster Dulles.

Russell resigned in 1957 so that he could run for governor in 1958 and Robert L. Sumwalt was named as the temporary president by the trustees. By the end of the summer of 1958, Russell had failed to win the Democratic nomination for governor and the University was still without a permanent President. A movement was started to bring Russell back as the President and he gave positive indications that he would return as President if offered. Yet, many were opposed because they felt that Russell was opportunistic and would leave the University again for the next gubernatorial campaign. Russell had also annoyed many associated with the University through his harsh rhetoric against Ernest Hollings on the campaign trail. The board of trustees was split and instead voted unanimously in 1959 to make Sumwalt the permanent President.

An initiative started by Russell and continued by Sumwalt was the establishment of regional campuses and the formation of the University System. The first extension campus was set up at Florence in 1957 and additional campuses were gained in Beaufort, Lancaster and Conway in 1959. Another campus was added to the system in 1961 at Aiken. The University System served two purposes, it expanded the University's reach across the state and the branch campuses acted as a feeder system for the main campus in Columbia.

Sumwalt retired in 1962 and he was replaced by Thomas F. Jones as President. Immediately, Jones was confronted by the integration problem that the University faced. Clemson admitted Harvey Gantt in January 1963 and it was just a matter of time before the University would be forced to admit blacks. USC exhausted its legal options in the summer and although large sentiment was against the integration of the University, there was no extra resistance to it requiring federal troops as occurred that same summer at the University of Alabama or at the University of Mississippi the previous year the latter of which contained violence which had a dramatic conscientious effect on many segregationists in the University community. A student leader perhaps best expressed the altered sentiments of many when he wrote that while "we do not want integration . . . neither do we want to be blamed for the loss of dignity and integrity." [17] On September 11, African-Americans Henrie Dobbins Monteith, Robert G. Anderson, and James L. Solomon, Jr. were admitted to the University peacefully.

For the next two decades following integration, the University experienced rapid growth and expansion due in large part to the baby boomer generation entering college. Enrollment stood at 5,660 in 1960, but by 1979 had reached nearly 26,000 students on the Columbia campus alone. The expansion of the University was not limited to the Columbia campus additional campuses and colleges were set up throughout the state. Clemson established an extension center in 1965 at Sumter, only 40 miles (64 km) away from Columbia. Sol Blatt, then the Speaker of the House, wrote President Tom Jones that "the University should build as many two year colleges over the State as rapidly as possible to prevent the expansion of Clemson schools for the Clemson people." [18] President Jones heeded Blatt's advice and over the next decade, the University added campuses in Allendale, Spartanburg, Union and Walterboro. The Clemson extension at Sumter never proved popular, and USC acquired the campus in 1973.

The growth of the University in the 1960s and 70s also brought with it the social activism and disorder of the time. Due to the massive influx of so many students in a short time period, the administration lost control of student life. Drug and alcohol use became so rampant at the University that it became known as a party school. [19] Black students protested the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968 by setting fire to Hamilton College and the USC Field House. On May 7, 1970, approximately 400 students seized the Russell House as a symbolic gesture towards honoring those killed in the Kent State shootings and four days later on May 11, they attempted to meet with the members of the board of trustees, but were rebuffed. Columbia police were called in to quell the student protest but were ineffective. State troopers were also unable to disperse the students. National Guard troops were ordered to the campus by Gov. Bob McNair, and soon dispersed most of the protestors with tear gas. The inability of the administration to control such student outbursts led to President Jones' resignation in 1974. But he had succeeded in turning a sleepy southern college into a full-fledged research institution.

International recognition Edit

James B. Holderman, a flamboyant and charming executive, was elected President by the board of trustees in 1977. Right away, Holderman championed a proposal to create an honors college because it would foster an academic environment conducive to excellence necessary to keep South Carolina's best students instate. The proposal was approved and the first students were admitted into the South Carolina Honors College in 1978.

A persistent problem for the University was the Columbia campus's relationship with the semi-autonomous regional campuses. Once a campus reached a Full-time equivalent of 1,000 students, it was entitled to become a four-year college and the campuses in Aiken, Spartanburg, and Conway took advantage of this rule. The law providing such a transformation was repealed, but it was apparent that the regional campuses were acting in their own interests and not for the University system. Furthermore, the Columbia campus had to compete against its regional campuses for funding because each campus submitted its budget to the General Assembly. To correct these problems, Holderman issued the Carolina Plan that outlined a centralized and unified approach to be taken by the University system. This meant that it would be necessary for lawmakers to fully fund the University system in order for the branch campus to receive the funds they need. The Carolina Plan worked brilliantly as the University system was fully funded in 1977 for the first time since 1967.

Following up on his success with the Carolina Plan, Holderman issued the Carolina Plan II which called for making USC an international university and a "Window to the World." To achieve his goals, Holderman used his connections and his personal charisma to attract world leaders to the USC campus. He was able to put USC on the map by bringing in such world leaders as UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and many other foreign dignitaries. The highlight of the visits was that of Pope John Paul II in 1987. He exclaimed on the Horseshoe that "it is wonderful to be young and a student at the University of South Carolina." [20] The Pope later led a non-denominational service before more than 60,000 at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The international spotlight on the University came at a price and an inquisitive journalism student led to Holderman's downfall. Paul Perkins, a journalism student upset with tuition increases, requested that the University release the salary of visiting professor Jehan Sadat. Holderman balked and refused to release the details even after Perkins and his wife Cheryl filed a Freedom of Information Act request. This denial and the secrecy on the part of the administration led the media to scrutinize other aspects of Holderman's presidency. They inspected his travel budgets and construction contracts and found overwhelming evidence of financial irregularities and extravagant spending. In face of all the negative publicity, Holderman resigned in 1990. Holderman would later be convicted of laundering drug money in 2003. [21] The University trustees elected John M. Palms to succeed Holderman to restore the institution's credibility and respect in the state and world. After leading the University's bicentennial celebrations in 2001, [22] Palms retired and was replaced by Andrew A. Sorensen in 2002. During his tenure from 2002 to 2008, Sorensen raised large sums for research, including a $300 million grant for colorectal cancer. In the spirit of Palms' "Cathedrals of Excellence" budgeting philosophy, the board of directors moved to transform university land on Assembly Street into an "innovation district" called Innovista that will develop four strengths: biomedicine, nanotechnology, environmental science and alternative fuels. The Board of Trustees announced the selection of Harris Pastides as the University's 28th president on July 11, 2008. After 11 years as President, Pastides was succeeded by former Superintendent of West Point Robert L. Caslen on August 1, 2019. [23]

Chartered as South Carolina College on December 19, 1801 [24]

Chartered as the University of South Carolina in January 10th, 1866 [25] [26]

Chartered as the University of South Carolina on May 9th, 1888 [29]

Chartered as South Carolina College on April 21 1890 [30]

Chartered as the University of South Carolina on February 17th, 1906 [31]


Humans arrived in the area of South Carolina around 13,000 BC. [ citation needed ] These people were hunters with crude tools made from stones and bones. Around 10,000 BC, they used spears and hunted big game. Over the Archaic period of 8000 to 2000 BC, the people gathered nuts, berries, fish and shellfish as part of their diets. Trade between the coastal plain and the piedmont developed. There is evidence of plant domestication and pottery in the late Archaic. The Woodland period brought more serious agriculture, more sophisticated pottery, and the bow and arrow. [4]

By the time of the first European exploration, twenty-nine tribes or nations of Native Americans, divided by major language families, lived within the boundaries of what became South Carolina. [5] Algonquian-speaking tribes lived in the low country, Siouan and Iroquoian-speaking in the Piedmont and uplands, respectively.

By the end of the 16th century, the Spanish and French had left the area of South Carolina after several reconnaissance missions, expeditions and failed colonization attempts, notably the short-living French outpost of Charlesfort followed by the Spanish town of Santa Elena on modern-day Parris Island between 1562 and 1587. In 1629, Charles I, King of England, granted his attorney general a charter to everything between latitudes 36 and 31. He called this land the Province of Carolana, which would later be changed to "Carolina" for pronunciation, after the Latin form of his own name.

In 1663, Charles II granted the land to the eight Lords Proprietors in return for their financial and political assistance in restoring him to the throne in 1660. [6] Charles II intended that the newly created Province of Carolina would serve as an English bulwark to the contested lands claimed by Spanish Florida and prevent Spanish expansion northward. [7] [8] The eight nobles ruled the Province of Carolina as a proprietary colony. After the Yamasee War of 1715–1717, the Lords Proprietors came under increasing pressure from settlers and were forced to relinquish their charter to the Crown in 1719. The proprietors retained their right to the land until 1719, when the South Carolina was officially made a crown colony.

In April 1670, settlers arrived at Albemarle Point, at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. They founded Charles Town, named in honor of King Charles II. Throughout the Colonial Period, the Carolinas participated in many wars against the Spanish and the Native Americans, including the Yamasee and Cherokee tribes. In its first decades, the colony's plantations were relatively small and its wealth came from Native American trade, mainly in Native American slaves and deerskins.

The slave trade adversely affected tribes throughout the Southeast and exacerbated enmity and competition among some of them. Historians estimate that Carolinians exported 24,000–51,000 Native American slaves from 1670 to 1717, sending them to markets ranging from Boston in North America to Barbados. [9] Planters financed the purchase of African slaves by their sale of Native Americans, finding that they were somewhat easier to control, as they did not know the territory to make good an escape.

Perhaps the most notable moment in history for South Carolina was the creation of the Regulators in the 1760s, one of the first organized militias in the New World. The militia proposed ideas of independence and brought increased recognition to the need for backcountry rights in the Carolinas. This led to the War of the Regulators, a battle between the regulators and the British soldiers, led mainly by British Royal Governor William Tryon, in the area. This battle was the first catalyst in the American Revolution. [10]

Native people Edit

Divided roughly along the Santee River were the two main groups of Native American peoples— Eastern Siouan & the Cusaboan tribes. Relative to the Siouans were mostly the Waccamaw, Sewee, Woccon, Chickanee (a smaller offshoot of the northern Wateree), Winyaw & the Santee (not to be confused with the Dakota Santee of the west.). [11] [12] Most of the region south of the Santee River was controlled by the Muskogean Cusabo tribes. Some Muskogean speaking tribes, like the Coree lived among the Siouans, however. North of the Sewee were the Croatan, an Algonquian nation related to the Chowanoke, Piscataway, Nanticoke & Powhatan further north. Many descendants of the Croatan survive among the Lumbee, who also took in many Siouan peoples of the region. [13] Deeper inland were the lands of the Chalaques, or ancestral Cherokees.

Other tribes who entered the region over time were the Westo, an Iroquoian people believed to have been the same as the Erie Indians of Ohio. During the Beaver Wars period, they were pushed out of their homeland by the Iroquois & conquered their way down from the Ohio River into South Carolina, becoming a nuisance to the local populations & damaging the Chalaques. [12] They were destroyed in 1681, and, afterward, the Chalaques split into the Yuchi of North Carolina & the Cherokee to the south, with other fragment groups wandering off into different areas. Also, after this conflict, Muskogeans wandered north and became the Yamasee. [14] When the Cherokee & Yuchi later reformed into the Creek Confederacy after the Yamasee War, they destroyed the Yamasee, who became backwater nomads. They spread out between the states of South Carolina & Florida. Today, several Yamasee tribes have since reformed.

The Siouan peoples of the state were relatively small & lived a wide variety of lifestyles. Some had absorbed aspects of Muskogean culture, while others lived like the Virginian Saponi people. Most had a traditional Siouan government of a chief-led council, while others (like the Santee) were thought of as tyrannical monarchies. They were among the first to experience colonial contact by the Spanish colony in the state during the 16th century. After the colony collapsed, the native peoples even borrowed their cows & pigs and took up animal husbandry. They liked the idea so much, they went on to capture and domesticate other animals, such as geese and turkeys. Their downfall was a combination of European diseases & warfare. After the English reached the region, many members of these tribes ended up on both sides of most wars. The Sewee in particular met their end in a bizarre circumstance of virtually all the men of their people deciding to cut out the middleman and launched a canoe flotilla to cross the Atlantic so they could trade with Europe directly. They never returned. [12] In the end, all the Siouan peoples of the Carolinas ended up merging with the Catawba, who relocated to the N- S Carolina border around the Yadkin River. Later, the United States amalgamated the Catawba with the Cherokee & they were sent west on the Trail of Tears after the drafting of the Indian Removal Act in the 1830s. [15]

18th century Edit

In the 1700–70 era, the colony possessed many advantages - entrepreneurial planters and businessmen, a major harbor, the expansion of cost-efficient African slave labor, and an attractive physical environment, with rich soil and a long growing season, albeit with endemic malaria. Planters established rice and indigo as commodity crops, based in developing large plantations, with long-staple cotton grown on the sea islands. As the demand for labor increased, planters imported increasing numbers of African slaves. The slave population grew as they had children. These children were also regarded as slaves as they grew up, as South Carolina used Virginia's model of declaring all children born to slave mothers as slaves, regardless of the race or nationality of the father. So the majority of slaves in the colony came to be native-born. This became one of the wealthiest of the British colonies. Rich colonials became avid consumers of services from outside the colony, such as mercantile services, medical education, and legal training in England. Almost everyone in 18th-century South Carolina felt the pressures, constraints, and opportunities associated with the growing importance of trade. [16]

Yamasee war Edit

A pan-Native American alliance rose up against the settlers in the Yamasee War (1715–17), in part due to the tribes' opposition to the Native American slave trade. The Native Americans nearly destroyed the colony. But the colonists and Native American allies defeated the Yemasee and their allies, such as the Iroquoian-speaking Tuscarora people. The latter emigrated from the colony north to western New York state, where by 1722 they declared the migration ended. They were accepted as the sixth nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. Combined with exposure to European infectious diseases, the backcountry's Yemasee population was greatly reduced by the fierce warfare. [17]

Slaves Edit

After the Yamasee War, the planters turned exclusively to importing African slaves for labor. With the establishment of rice and indigo as commodity export crops, South Carolina became a slave society, with slavery central to its economy. By 1708, African slaves composed a majority of the population in the colony the blacks composed the majority of the population in the state into the 20th century. [18] Planters used slave labor to support cultivation and processing of rice and indigo as commodity crops. Building dams, irrigation ditches and related infrastructure, enslaved Africans created the equivalent of huge earthworks to regulate water for the rice culture. Although the methods for cultivation of rice were patterned on those of West African rice growers, white planters took credit for what they called "an achievement no less skillful than that which excites our wonder in viewing the works of the ancient Egyptians." [19]

While some lifetime indentured servants came to South Carolina transported as prisoners from Britain, having been sentenced for their part in the failed Scottish Jacobite Rebellions of 1744–46, by far most of the slaves came from West Africa. In the Low Country, including the Sea Islands, where large populations of Africans lived together, they developed a creolized culture and language known as Gullah/Geechee (the latter a term used in Georgia). They interacted with and adopted some elements of the English language and colonial culture and language. The Gullah adapted to elements of American society during the slavery years. Since the late nineteenth century, they have retained their distinctive life styles, products, and language to perpetuate their unique ethnic identity. [20] Beginning about 1910, tens of thousands of blacks left the state in the Great Migration, traveling for work and other opportunities to the northern and midwestern industrial cities.

Low country Edit

The Low Country was settled first, dominated by wealthy English men who became owners of large amounts of land on which they established plantations. [21] They first transported white indentured servants as laborers, mostly teenage youth from England who came to work off their passage in hopes of learning to farm and buying their own land. Planters also imported African laborers to the colony.

In the early colonial years, social boundaries were fluid between indentured laborers and slaves, and there was considerable intermarriage. Gradually the terms of enslavement became more rigid, and slavery became a racial caste. South Carolina used Virginia's model of declaring all children born to slave mothers as slaves, regardless of the race or nationality of the father. In the Upper South, there were many mixed-race slaves with white planter fathers. With a decrease in English settlers as the economy improved in England before the beginning of the 18th century, the planters began to rely chiefly on enslaved Africans for labor.

The market for land functioned efficiently and reflected both rapid economic development and widespread optimism regarding future economic growth. The frequency and turnover rate for land sales were tied to the general business cycle the overall trend was upward, with almost half of the sales occurring in the decade before the American Revolution. Prices also rose over time, parallel with the rise in the price for rice. Prices dropped dramatically, however, in the years just before the American Revolution, when fears arose about future prospects outside the system of English mercantilist trade. [22]

Back country Edit

In contrast to the Tidewater, the back country was settled later in the 18th century, chiefly by Scots-Irish and North British migrants, who had quickly moved down from Pennsylvania and Virginia. The immigrants from Ulster, the Scottish lowlands, and the north of England (the border counties) composed the largest group from the British Isles before the Revolution. They came mostly in the 18th century, later than other colonial immigrants. Such "North Britons were a large majority in much of the South Carolina upcountry." The character of this environment was "well matched to the culture of the British borderlands." [23]

They settled in the backcountry throughout the South and relied on subsistence farming. Mostly they did not own slaves. Given the differences in background, class, slave holding, economics, and culture, there was long-standing competition between the Low Country and back country that played out in politics.

Rice Edit

In the early period, planters earned wealth from two major crops: rice and indigo (see below), both of which relied on slave labor for their cultivation. [24] Exports of these crops led South Carolina to become one of the wealthiest colonies prior to the Revolution. Near the beginning of the 18th century, planters began rice culture along the coast, mainly in the Georgetown and Charleston areas. The rice became known as Carolina Gold, both for its color and its ability to produce great fortunes for plantation owners. [25]

Indigo production Edit

In the 1740s, Eliza Lucas Pinckney began indigo culture and processing in coastal South Carolina. Indigo was in heavy demand in Europe for making dyes for clothing. An "Indigo Bonanza" followed, with South Carolina production approaching a million pounds (400 plus Tonnes) in the late 1750s. This growth was stimulated by a British bounty of six pence per pound. [26]

South Carolina did not have a monopoly of the British market, but the demand was strong and many planters switched to the new crop when the price of rice fell. Carolina indigo had a mediocre reputation because Carolina planters failed to achieve consistent high quality production standards. Carolina indigo nevertheless succeeded in displacing French and Spanish indigo in the British and in some continental markets, reflecting the demand for cheap dyestuffs from manufacturers of low-cost textiles, the fastest-growing sectors of the European textile industries at the onset of industrialization. [27]

In addition, the colonial economy depended on sales of pelts (primarily deerskins), and naval stores and timber. Coastal towns began shipbuilding to support their trade, using the prime timbers of the live oak.

Jews and Huguenots Edit

South Carolina's liberal constitution and early flourishing trade attracted Sephardic Jewish immigrants as early as the 18th century. They were mostly elite businessmen from London and Barbados, where they had been involved in the rum and sugar trades. Many became slaveholders. In 1800, Charleston had the largest Jewish population of any city in the United States. [28] Huguenot Protestant refugees from France were welcomed and many became mechanics and businessmen. [29]

Negro Act of 1740 Edit

The comprehensive Negro Act of 1740 was passed in South Carolina, during Governor William Bull's time in office, in response to the Stono Rebellion in 1739. [30] The act made it illegal for enslaved Africans to move abroad, assemble in groups, raise food, earn money, and learn to write (though reading was not proscribed). Additionally, owners were permitted to kill rebellious slaves if necessary. [31] The Act remained in effect until 1865. [32]

Prior to the American Revolution, the British began taxing American colonies to raise revenue. Residents of South Carolina were outraged by the Townsend Acts that taxed tea, paper, wine, glass, and oil. To protest the Stamp Act, South Carolina sent the wealthy rice planter Thomas Lynch, twenty-six-year-old lawyer John Rutledge, and Christopher Gadsden to the Stamp Act Congress, held in 1765 in New York. Other taxes were removed, but tea taxes remained. Soon residents of South Carolina, like those of the Boston Tea Party, began to dump tea into the Charleston Harbor, followed by boycotts and protests.

South Carolina set up its state government and constitution on March 26, 1776. Because of the colony's longstanding trade ties with Great Britain, the Low Country cities had numerous Loyalists. Many of the Patriot battles fought in South Carolina during the American Revolution were against loyalist Carolinians and the Cherokee Nation, which was allied with the British. This was to British General Henry Clinton's advantage, as his strategy was to march his troops north from St. Augustine and sandwich George Washington in the North. Clinton alienated Loyalists and enraged Patriots by attacking and nearly annihilating a fleeing army of Patriot soldiers who posed no threat.

White colonists were not the only ones with a desire for freedom. Estimates are that about 25,000 slaves escaped, migrated or died during the disruption of the war, 30 percent of the state's slave population. About 13,000 joined the British, who had promised them freedom if they left rebel masters and fought with them. From 1770 to 1790, the proportion of the state's population made up of blacks (almost all of whom were enslaved), dropped from 60.5 percent to 43.8 percent. [33]

On October 7, 1780, at Kings Mountain, John Sevier and William Campbell, using volunteers from the mountains and from Tennessee, surrounded 1000 Loyalist soldiers camped on a mountain top. It was a decisive Patriot victory. It was the first Patriot victory since the British had taken Charleston. Thomas Jefferson, governor of Virginia at the time, called it, "The turn of the tide of success." [34]

While tensions mounted between the Crown and the Carolinas, some key southern Pastors became a target of King George: ". this church (Bullock Creek) was noted as one of the "Four Bees" in King George's bonnet due to its pastor, Rev. Joseph Alexander, preaching open rebellion to the British Crown in June 1780. Bullock Creek Presbyterian Church was a place noted for being a Whig party stronghold. Under a ground swell of such Calvin Protestant leadership, South Carolina moved from a back seat to the front in the war against tyranny. Patriots went on to regain control of Charleston and South Carolina with untrained militiamen by trapping Colonel Banastre "No Quarter" Tarleton's troops along a river.

In 1787, John Rutledge, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Pierce Butler went to Philadelphia where the Constitutional Convention was being held and constructed what served as a detailed outline for the U.S. Constitution. The federal Constitution was ratified by the state in 1787. The new state constitution was ratified in 1790 without the support of the Upcountry.

Scots Irish Edit

During the Revolution, the Scots Irish in the back country in most states were noted as strong patriots. One exception was the Waxhaw settlement on the lower Catawba River along the North Carolina-South Carolina boundary, where Loyalism was strong. The area had two main settlement periods of Scotch Irish. During the 1750s–1760s, second- and third-generation Scotch Irish Americans moved from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. This particular group had large families, and as a group they produced goods for themselves and for others. They generally were patriots.

In addition to these, The Earl of Donegal arrived in Charleston on December 22, 1767, from Belfast, bringing approximately fifty families over who received land grants under the Bounty Act. Most of these families settled in the upstate. A portion of these eventually migrated into Georgia and on into Alabama.

Just prior to the Revolution, a second stream of immigrants came directly from northern Ireland via Charleston. Mostly poor, this group settled in an underdeveloped area because they could not afford expensive land. Most of this group remained loyal to the Crown or neutral when the war began. Prior to Charles Cornwallis's march into the backcountry in 1780, two-thirds of the men among the Waxhaw settlement had declined to serve in the army. British victory at the Battle of the Waxhaws resulted in anti-British sentiment in a bitterly divided region. While many individuals chose to take up arms against the British, the British forced the people to choose sides, as they were trying to recruit Loyalists for a militia. [35]

Loyalists Edit

South Carolina had one of the strongest Loyalists factions of any state. About 5000 men took up arms against the Patriot government during revolution, and thousands more were supporters. Nearly all had immigrated to the province after 1765, only about one in six was native-born. About 45% of the Loyalists were small farmers, 30% were merchants, artisans or shopkeepers 15% were large farmers or plantation owners 10% Were royal officials. Geographically they were strongest in the backcountry. [36] [37]

Although the state had experienced a bitter bloody internal civil war 1780-82, civilian leaders nevertheless adopted a policy of reconciliation that proved more moderate than any other state. About 4500 white Loyalists left when the war ended, but the majority remained behind. The state successfully and quickly reincorporated the vast majority. Some were required to pay a 10% fine of the value of the property. The legislature named 232 Loyalists liable for confiscation of their property, but most appealed and were forgiven. [38]

Rebecca Brannon, says South Carolinians, "offered the most generous reconciliation to Loyalists . despite suffering the worst extremes of violent civil war" According to a reviewer, she:

convincingly argues that South Carolinians, driven by social, political, and economic imperatives, engaged in a process of integration that was significantly more generous than that of other states. Indeed, Brannon's account strongly suggests that it was precisely the brutality and destructiveness of the conflict in the Palmetto State that led South Carolinians to favor reconciliation over retribution. [39]

South Carolina led opposition to national law during the Nullification Crisis. It was the first state to declare its secession in 1860 in response to the election of Abraham Lincoln. Dominated by major planters, it was the only state in which slaveholders composed a majority of the legislature.

Politics and slavery Edit

After the Revolutionary War, numerous slaves were freed. Most of the northern states abolished slavery, sometimes combined with gradual emancipation. In the Upper South, inspired by revolutionary ideals and activist preachers, state legislatures passed laws making it easier for slaveholders to manumit (free) their slaves both during their lifetimes or by wills. Quakers, Methodists, and Baptists urged slaveholders to free their slaves. In the period from 1790 to 1810, the proportion and number of free blacks rose dramatically in the Upper South and overall, from less than 1 percent to more than 10 percent.

When the importation of slaves became illegal in 1808, South Carolina was the only state that still allowed importation, which had been prohibited in the other states.

Slave owners had more control over the state government of South Carolina than of any other state. Elite planters played the role of English aristocrats more than did the planters of other states. In the late antebellum years, the newer Southern states, such as Alabama and Mississippi, allowed more political equality among whites. [40] Although all white male residents were allowed to vote, property requirements for office holders were higher in South Carolina than in any other state. [40] It was the only state legislature in which slave owners held the majority of seats. [40] The legislature elected the governor, all judges and state electors for federal elections, as well as the US senators into the 20th century, so its members had considerable political power. [40] The state's chief executive was a figurehead who had no authority to veto legislative law. [40]

With its society disrupted by losses of enslaved Black people during the Revolution, South Carolina did not embrace manumission as readily as states of the Upper South. Most of its small number of "free" Black people were of mixed race, often the children of major planters or their sons, who raped the young Black enslaved females. Their wealthy fathers sometimes passed on social capital to such mixed-race children, arranging for their manumission even if officially denying them as legal heirs. Fathers sometimes arranged to have their enslaved children educated, arranged apprenticeships in skilled trades, and other preparation for independent adulthood. [ citation needed ] Some planters sent their enslaved mixed-race children to schools and colleges in the North for education. [ citation needed ]

In the early 19th century, the state legislature passed laws making manumission more difficult. The manumission law of 1820 required slaveholders to gain legislative approval for each act of manumission and generally required other free adults to testify that the person to be freed could support himself. This meant that freedmen were unable to free their enslaved children since the first law [ which? ] required that five citizens attest to the ability of the person proposed to be "freed" to earn a living. In 1820, the legislature ended personal manumissions, requiring all slaveholders to gain individual permission from the legislature before manumitting anyone.

The majority of the population in South Carolina was Black, with concentrations in the plantation areas of the Low Country: by 1860 the population of the state was 703,620, with 57 percent or slightly more than 402,000 classified as enslaved people. Free Black people numbered slightly less than 10,000. [41] A concentration of free people of color lived in Charleston, where they formed an elite racial caste of people who had more skills and education than most Black people. Unlike Virginia, where most of the larger plantations and enslaved people were concentrated in the eastern part of the state, South Carolina plantations and enslaved people became common throughout much of the state. After 1794, Eli Whitney's cotton gin allowed cotton plantations for short-staple cotton to be widely developed in the Piedmont area, which became known as the Black Belt of the state. [40]

By 1830, 85% of inhabitants of rice plantations in the Low Country were enslaved people. When rice planters left the malarial low country for cities such as Charleston during the social season, up to 98% of the Low Country residents were enslaved people. This led to a preservation of West African customs while developing the Creole culture known as Gullah. [40] By 1830, two-thirds of South Carolina's counties had populations with 40 percent or more enslaved people even in the two counties with the lowest rates of slavery, 23 percent of the population were enslaved people. [40]

In 1822, a Black freedman named Denmark Vesey and compatriots around Charlestown organized a plan for thousands of enslaved people to participate in an armed uprising to gain freedom. Vesey's plan, inspired by the 1791 Haitian Revolution, called for thousands of armed Black men to kill their enslavers, seize the city of Charleston, and escape from the United States by sailing to Haiti. The plot was discovered when two enslaved people opposed to the plan leaked word of it to white authorities. Charleston authorities charged 131 men with participating in the conspiracy. In total, the state convicted 67 men and executed by hanging 35 of them, including Vesey. White fear of the insurrection of enslaved people after the Vesey conspiracy led to a 9:15 pm curfew for enslaved people in Charleston, [40] and the establishment of a municipal guard of 150 white men in Charleston, with half the men stationed in an arsenal called the Citadel. Columbia was protected by an arsenal.

Plantations in older Southern states such as South Carolina wore out the soil to such an extent that 42% of state residents left the state for the lower South, to develop plantations with newer soil. The remaining South Carolina plantations were especially hard hit when worldwide cotton markets turned down in 1826–32 and again in 1837–49. [40]

Nullification Edit

The white minority in South Carolina felt more threatened than in other parts of the South, and reacted more to the economic Panic of 1819, the Missouri Controversy of 1820, and attempts at emancipation in the form of the Ohio Resolutions of 1824 and the American Colonization Petition of 1827. [42] South Carolina's first attempt at nullification occurred in 1822, when South Carolina adopted a policy of jailing foreign Black sailors at South Carolina ports. This policy violated a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States, but South Carolina defied a complaint from Britain through American Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and a United States Supreme Court justice's federal circuit decision condemning the jailings. [42] Foreign Black men from Santo Domingo had previously communicated with Denmark Vesey's conspirators, and the South Carolina State Senate declared that the need to prevent insurrections was more important than laws, treaties or constitutions. [42]

South Carolinian George McDuffie popularized the "Forty Bale theory" to explain South Carolina's economic woes. He said that tariffs that became progressively higher in 1816, 1824 and 1828 had the same effect as if a thief stole forty bales out of a hundred from every barn. The tariffs applied to imports of goods such as iron, wool, and finished cotton products. The Forty Bale theory was based on faulty math, as Britain could sell finished cotton goods made from Southern raw cotton around the world, not just to the United States. Still, the theory was a popular explanation for economic problems that were caused in large part by overproduction of cotton in the Deep South, competing with South Carolina's declining crops because of its depleted soil. South Carolinians, rightly or wrongly, blamed the tariff for the fact that cotton prices fell from 18 cents a pound to 9 cents a pound during the 1820s. [42]

While the effects of the tariff were exaggerated, manufactured imports from Europe were cheaper than American-made products without the tariff, and the tariff did reduce British imports of cotton to some extent. These were largely short-term problems that existed before United States factories and textile makers could compete with Europe. Also, the tariff replaced a tax system where slave states previously had to pay more in taxes for the increased representation they got in the U.S. House of Representatives under the three-fifths clause. [43]

The Tariff of 1828, which South Carolina agitators called the Tariff of Abominations, set the tariff rate at 50 percent. Although John C. Calhoun previously supported tariffs, he anonymously wrote the South Carolina Exposition and Protest, which was a states' rights argument for nullifying the tariff. Calhoun's theory was that the threat of secession would lead to a "concurrent majority" that would possess every white minority's consent, as opposed to a "tyrannical majority" of Northerners controlling the South. [42] Both Calhoun and Robert Barnwell Rhett foresaw that the same arguments could be used to defend slavery when necessary. [44] [45] [46]

President Andrew Jackson successfully forced the nullifiers to back down and allowed a gradual reduction of tariff rates. [42] Calhoun and Senator Henry Clay agreed upon the Compromise Tariff of 1833, which would lower rates over 10 years. [47] Calhoun later supported national protection for slavery in the form of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and federal protection of slavery in the territories conquered from Mexico, in contradiction to his previous support for nullification and states' rights. [48]

Censorship and slavery Edit

On July 29, 1835, Charleston Postmaster Alfred Huger found abolitionist literature in the mail, and refused to deliver it. Slave owners seized the mail and built a bonfire with it, and other Southern states followed South Carolina's lead in censoring abolitionist literature. [49] South Carolina's James Henry Hammond started the gag rule controversy by demanding a ban on petitions for ending slavery from being introduced before Congress in 1835. [50] The 1856 caning of Republican Charles Sumner by the South Carolinian Preston Brooks [51] after Sumner's Crime Against Kansas speech heightened Northern fears that the alleged aggressions of the slave power threatened republican government for Northern whites.

Protest of the Negro Act of 1740 Edit

John Belton O'Neall summarized the Negro Act of 1740, in his written work, The Negro Law of South Carolina, when he stated: "A slave may, by the consent of his master, acquire and hold personal property. All, thus required, is regarded in law as that of the master." [52] [53] Across the South, state supreme courts supported the position of this law. [54] In 1848, O'Neall was the only one to express protest against the Act, arguing for the propriety of receiving testimony from enslaved Africans (many of whom, by 1848, were Christians) under oath: "Negroes (slave or free) will feel the sanctions of an oath, with as much force as any of the ignorant classes of white people, in a Christian country." [55] [53]

Secession and war Edit

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. South Carolina adopted the Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union on December 24, 1860, following a briefer Ordinance of Secession adopted December 20. All of the violations of the alleged rights of Southern states mentioned in the document are about slavery. President Buchanan protested but made no military response aside from a failed attempt to resupply Fort Sumter via the ship Star of the West, which was fired upon by South Carolina forces and turned back before it reached the fort. [56]

Prewar tensions Edit

Few white South Carolinians considered abolition of slavery as an option. Having lived as a minority among the majority-black slaves, they feared that, if freed, the slaves would try to "Africanize" the whites' cherished society and culture. This was what they believed had happened after slave revolutions in Haiti, in which numerous whites and free people of color were killed during the revolution. South Carolina's white politicians were divided between devoted Unionists who opposed any sort of secession, and those who believed secession was a state's right.

John C. Calhoun noted that the dry and barren West could not support a plantation system and would remain without slaves. Calhoun proposed that Congress should not exclude slavery from territories but let each state choose for itself whether it would allow slaves within its borders. After Calhoun's death in 1850, however, South Carolina was left without a leader great enough in national standing and character to prevent action by those more militant South Carolinian factions who wanted to secede immediately. Andrew Pickens Butler argued against Charleston publisher Robert Barnwell Rhett, who advocated immediate secession and, if necessary, independence. Butler won the battle, but Rhett outlived him.

When people began to believe that Abraham Lincoln would be elected president, states in the Deep South organized conventions to discuss their options. South Carolina was the first state to organize such a convention, meeting in December following the national election. On December 20, 1860, delegates convened in Charleston and voted unanimously to secede from the Union. President James Buchanan declared the secession illegal, but did not act to stop it. The first six states to secede with the largest slaveholding states in the South, demonstrating that the slavery societies were an integral part of the secession question.

Fort Sumter Edit

On February 4, the seven seceded states approved a new constitution for the Confederate States of America. Lincoln argued that the United States were "one nation, indivisible," and denied the Southern states' right to secede. South Carolina entered the Confederacy on February 8, 1861, thus ending fewer than six weeks of being an independent State of South Carolina. Meanwhile, Major Robert Anderson, commander of the U.S. troops in Charleston, withdrew his men into the small island fortress of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor and raised the U.S. flag. Fort Sumter was vastly outgunned by shore batteries and was too small to be a military threat but it had high symbolic value. In a letter delivered January 31, 1861, South Carolina Governor Pickens demanded of President Buchanan that he surrender Fort Sumter, because "I regard that possession is not consistent with the dignity or safety of the State of South Carolina." [57] Buchanan refused. Lincoln was determined to hold it to assert national power and prestige he wanted the Confederacy to fire the first shot. If it was to be a dignified independent nation the Confederacy could not tolerate a foreign fort in its second largest harbor. [58]

About 6,000 Confederate men were stationed around the rim of the harbor, ready to take on the 60 men in Fort Sumter. At 4:30 a.m. on April 12, after two days of fruitless negotiations, and with Union ships just outside the harbor, the Confederates opened fire on orders from President Jefferson Davis. Edmund Ruffin fired the first shot. Thirty-four hours later, Anderson's men raised the white flag and were allowed to leave the fort with colors flying and drums beating, saluting the U.S. flag with a 50-gun salute before taking it down. During this salute, one of the guns exploded, killing a young soldier—the only casualty of the bombardment and the first casualty of the war. In a mass frenzy, North and South men rushed to enlist, as Lincoln called up troops to recapture the fort. [59]

Civil War devastates the state Edit

The South was at a disadvantage in number, weaponry, and maritime skills the region did not have much of a maritime tradition and few sailors. Federal ships sailed south and blocked off one port after another. As early as November, Union troops occupied the Sea Islands in the Beaufort area, and established an important base for the men and ships that would obstruct the ports at Charleston and Savannah. Many plantation owners had already fled to distant interior refuges, sometimes taking their slaves with them.

Those African-Americans who remained on the Sea Islands became the first "freedmen" of the war. Under military supervision, the Sea Islands became a laboratory for education, with Northern missionary teachers finding former enslaved adults as well as children eager for learning. The supervisors assigned plots of plantation land to individual freedmen households, who began to do subsistence farming, generally of food crops and cotton or rice.

Despite South Carolina's important role, and the Union's unsuccessful attempt to take Charleston from 1863 onward, fighting was largely limited to naval activities until almost the end of the war. Having completed his March to the Sea at Savannah in 1865, Union General Sherman took his army to Columbia, then north into North Carolina. With most major Confederate resistance eliminated by this point, the Union army was nearly unopposed. Sherman's troops embarked on an orgy of looting and destruction as there was widespread resentment at South Carolina being "the mother of secession" and the principal reason why the war started in the first place. Columbia and many other towns were burned.

On February 21, 1865, with the Confederate forces finally evacuated from Charleston, the black 54th Massachusetts Regiment, led by Thomas Baker, Albert Adams, David Adams, Nelson R. Anderson, William H. Alexander, Beverly Harris, Joseph Anderson, Robert Abram, Elijah Brown, Wiley Abbott, marched through the city. At a ceremony at which the U.S. flag was raised over Fort Sumter, former fort commander Robert Anderson was joined on the platform by two African Americans: Union hero Robert Smalls, who had piloted a Confederate ship to Union lines, and the son of Denmark Vesey.

Continuing to rely on agriculture in a declining market, landowners in the state struggled with the change to free labor, as well as the aftermath of the war's destruction. There was an agricultural depression and deep financial recession in 1873, and changes in the labor market disrupted agriculture. South Carolina lost proportionally more of its young men of fighting age than did any other Southern state. Recorded deaths were 18,666 however, fatalities might have reached 21,146. This was 31–35% of the total of white men of ages 18–45 recorded in the 1860 census for South Carolina. As with other military forces, most of the men died of disease rather than being wounded in battle. [60]

African Americans had long composed the majority of the state's population. However, in 1860, only 2 percent of the state's black population were free most were mulattos or free people of color, with ties of kinship to white families. They were well established as more educated and skilled artisans in Charleston and some other cities despite social restrictions, and sometimes as landowners and slaveholders. As a result, free people of color before the war became important leaders in the South Carolina government during Reconstruction they made up 26 percent of blacks elected to office in the state between 1868 and 1876 and played important roles in the Republican Party, prepared by their education, skills and experiences before the war. [61] [62]

Despite the anti-Northern fury of prewar and wartime politics, most South Carolinians, including the state's leading opinion-maker, Wade Hampton III, believed that white citizens would do well to accept President Andrew Johnson's terms for full reentry to the Union. However, the state legislature, in 1865, passed "Black Codes" to control the work and movement of freedmen. This angered Northerners, who accused the state of imposing semi-slavery on the freedmen. The South Carolina Black Codes have been described:

Persons of color contracting for service were to be known as "servants", and those with whom they contracted, as "masters." On farms the hours of labor would be from sunrise to sunset daily, except on Sunday. The negroes were to get out of bed at dawn. Time lost would be deducted from their wages, as would be the cost of food, nursing, etc., during absence from sickness. Absentees on Sunday must return to the plantation by sunset. House servants were to be at call at all hours of the day and night on all days of the week. They must be "especially civil and polite to their masters, their masters' families and guests", and they in return would receive "gentle and kind treatment." Corporal and other punishment was to be administered only upon order of the district judge or other civil magistrate. A vagrant law of some severity was enacted to keep the negroes from roaming the roads and living the lives of beggars and thieves. [63]

The Black Codes outraged northern opinion and apparently were never put into effect in any state.

Republican rule Edit

After winning the 1866 elections, the Radical Republicans took control of the Reconstruction process. The Army registered all male voters, and elections returned a Republican government composed of a coalition of freedmen, "carpetbaggers", and "scalawags". By a constitutional convention, new voters created the Constitution of 1868 this brought democratic reforms to the state, including its first public school system. Native white Republicans supported it, but white Democrats viewed the Republican government as representative of black interests only and were largely unsupportive.

Adding to the interracial animosity was the sense of many whites that their former slaves had betrayed them. Before the war, slaveholders had convinced themselves that they were treating their slaves well and had earned their slaves' loyalty. When the Union Army rolled in and slaves deserted by the thousands, slaveholders were stunned. The black population scrambled to preserve its new rights while the white population attempted to claw its way back up the social ladder by denying blacks those same rights and reviving white supremacy.

Ku Klux Klan raids began shortly after the end of the war, as a first stage of insurgency. Secret chapters had members who terrorized and murdered blacks and their sympathizers in an attempt to reestablish white supremacy. These raids were particularly prevalent in the upstate, and they reached a climax in 1870–71. Congress passed a series of Enforcement Acts aimed at curbing Klan activity, and the Grant administration eventually declared martial law in the upstate counties of Spartanburg, York, Marion, Chester, Laurens, Newberry, Fairfield, Lancaster, and Chesterfield in October 1870. [64]

The declaration was followed by mass arrests and a series of Congressional hearings to investigate violence in the region. Though the federal program resulted in over 700 indictments, there were few successful prosecutions, and many of those individuals later received pardons. [64] The ultimate weakness of the response helped to undermine federal authority in the state, though formal Klan activity declined precipitously following federal intervention. The violence in the state did not subside, however. New insurgent groups formed as paramilitary units and rifle clubs who operated openly in the 1870s to disrupt Republican organizing and suppress black voting such groups included the Red Shirts, as of 1874, and their violence killed more than 100 blacks during the political season of 1876.

Spending and debt Edit

A major theme of conservative opposition to Republican state government was the escalating state debt, and the rising taxes paid by a white population that was much poorer than before the war. Much of the state money had been squandered or wasted. [ citation needed ] Simkins and Woody say that, "The state debt increased rapidly, interest was seldom paid, and credit of the state was almost wiped out yet with one or two exceptions the offenders were not brought to justice." [65] [ better source needed ]

Reconstruction government established public education for the first time, and new charitable institutions, together with improved prisons. There was corruption, but it was mostly white Southerners who benefited, particularly by investments to develop railroads and other infrastructure. Taxes had been exceedingly low before the war because the planter class refused to support programs such as education welfare. The exigencies of the postwar period caused the state debt to climb rapidly. [66] [67] [68] [69] When Republicans came to power in 1868, the debt stood at $5.4 million. By the time Republicans lost control in 1877, state debt had risen to $18.5 million. [70]

The 1876 gubernatorial election Edit

From 1868 on, elections were accompanied by increasing violence from white paramilitary groups such as the Red Shirts. Because of the violence in 1870, Republican Governor Chamberlain requested assistance from Washington to try to keep control. President Ulysses S. Grant sent federal troops to try to preserve order and ensure a fair election. [71]

Using as a model the "Mississippi Plan", which had redeemed that state in 1874, South Carolina whites used intimidation, violence, persuasion, and control of the blacks. In 1876, tensions were high, especially in Piedmont towns where the numbers of blacks were fewer than whites. In these counties, blacks sometimes made up a narrow majority. There were numerous demonstrations by the Red Shirts—white Democrats determined to win the upcoming elections by any means possible. The Red Shirts turned the tide in South Carolina, convincing whites that this could indeed be the year they regain control and terrorizing blacks to stay away from voting, due to incidents such as the Hamburg Massacre in July, the Ellenton riots in October, [72] and other similar events in Aiken County and Edgefield District. Armed with heavy pistols and rifles, they rode on horseback to every Republican meeting, and demanded a chance to speak. The Red Shirts milled among the crowds. Each selected a black man to watch, privately threatening to shoot him if he raised a disturbance. The Redeemers organized hundreds of rifle clubs. Obeying proclamations to disband, they sometimes reorganized as missionary societies or dancing clubs—with rifles.

They set up an ironclad economic boycott against black activists and "scalawags" who refused to vote the Democratic ticket. People lost jobs over their political views. They beat down the opposition—but always just within the law. In 1876, Wade Hampton made more than forty speeches across the state. Some Black Republicans joined his cause donning the Red Shirts, they paraded with the whites. Most scalawags "crossed Jordan", as switching to the Democrats was called. [ citation needed ]

On election day, there was intimidation and fraud on all sides, employed by both parties. Edgefield and Laurens counties had more votes for Democratic candidate Wade Hampton III than the total number of registered voters in either county. [73] The returns were disputed all the way to Washington, where they played a central role in the Compromise of 1877. Both parties claimed victory. For a while, two separate state assemblies did business side by side on the floor of the state house (their Speakers shared the Speaker's desk, but each had his own gavel), until the Democrats moved to their own building. There the Democrats continued to pass resolutions and conducted the state's business, just as the Republicans were doing. The Republican State Assembly tossed out results of the tainted election and reelected Chamberlain as governor. A week later, General Wade Hampton III took the oath of office for the Democrats.

Finally, in return for the South's support of his own convoluted presidential "victory" over Samuel Tilden, President Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew federal troops from Columbia and the rest of the South in 1877. The Republican government dissolved and Chamberlain headed north, as Wade Hampton and his Redeemers took control.

Memory Edit

Whites and blacks in South Carolina developed different memories of Reconstruction and used them to justify their politics. James Shepherd Pike, a prominent Republican journalist, visited the state in 1873 and wrote accounts that were widely reprinted and published as a book, The Prostrate State (1874). Historian Eric Foner writes:

The book depicted a state engulfed by political corruption, drained by governmental extravagance, and under the control of "a mass of black barbarism." The South's problems, he insisted, arose from "Negro government." The solution was to restore leading whites to political power. [74]

Similar views were developed in scholarly monographs by academic historians of the Dunning School based at Columbia University in the early 20th century they served as historians at major colleges in the South, influencing interpretation of Reconstruction into the 1960s. They argued that corrupt Yankee carpetbaggers controlled for financial profit the mass of ignorant black voters and nearly plunged South Carolina into economic ruin and social chaos. The heroes in this version were the Red Shirts: white paramilitary insurgents who, beginning in 1874, rescued the state from misrule and preserved democracy, expelled blacks from the public square by intimidation during elections, restored law and order, and created a long era of comity between the races.

The black version, beginning with W.E.B. Du Bois' Black Reconstruction (1935), examines the period more objectively and notes its achievements in establishing public school education, and numerous social and welfare institutions to benefit all the citizens. Other historians also evaluated Reconstruction against similar periods. Their work provided intellectual support for the Civil Rights Movement. [75]

In the 1980s, social battles over the display of the Confederate flag following the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement were related to these differing interpretations and the blacks' nearly century of struggle to regain the exercise of constitutional rights lost to Conservative Democrats after Reconstruction.

The Democrats were led by General Wade Hampton III and other former Confederate veterans who espoused a return to the policies of the antebellum period. Known as the Conservatives, or the Bourbons, they favored a minimalist approach by the government and a conciliatory policy towards blacks while maintaining white supremacy. Also of interest to the Conservatives was the restoration of the University of South Carolina to its prominent prewar status as the leading institution of higher education in the state and the region. They closed the college before passing a law to restrict admission to whites only. The legislature designated Claflin College for higher education for blacks. [76] (The Reconstruction legislature had opened the college to blacks and established supplemental programs to prepare them for study.)

Once in power, the Democrats quickly consolidated their position and sought to unravel the legacy of the Radical Republicans. They pressured Republicans to resign from their positions, which included violence and intimidation by members of the Red Shirts, a paramilitary group described the historian George Rabe as the "military arm of the Democratic Party," who also worked to suppress black voting. Within a year both the legislative and judiciary were firmly in the control of the Democrats. [77] [78] The Democrats launched investigations into the corruption and frauds committed by Republicans during Reconstruction. They dropped the charges when the Federal government dropped its charges against whites accused of violence in the 1876 election campaign. [79]

With their position secure, the Democrats next tackled the state debt. Many Democrats from the upcountry, led by General Martin Gary, who had developed the Edgefield Plan for targeted violence to take back the state, pushed for the entire state debt to be canceled, but Gary was opposed by Charleston holders of the bonds. [80] A compromise moderated by Wade Hampton was achieved and by October 1882, the state debt was reduced to $6.5 million.

Other legislative initiatives by the Conservatives benefited its primary supporters, the planters and business class. Taxes across the board were reduced, and funding was cut for public social and educational programs that assisted poor whites and blacks. Oral contracts were made to be legally binding, breach of contract was enforced as a criminal offense, and those in debt to planters could be forced to work off their debt. In addition, the University of South Carolina along with The Citadel were reopened to elite classes and generously supported by the state government.

By the late 1880s, the agrarian movement swept through the state and encouraged subsistence farmers to assert their political rights. They pressured the legislature to establish an agriculture college. Reluctantly the legislature complied by adding an agriculture college to the University of South Carolina in 1887. Ben Tillman inspired the farmers to demand a separate agriculture college isolated from the politics of Columbia. [81] [82] [83] The Conservatives finally gave them one in 1889.

In 1890, Ben Tillman set his sights on the gubernatorial contest. The farmers rallied behind his candidacy and Tillman easily defeated the conservative nominee, A.C. Haskell. The conservatives failed to grasp the strength of the farmers' movement in the state. The planter elite no longer engendered automatic respect for having fought in the Civil War. Not only that, but Tillman's "humorous and coarse speech appealed to a majority no more delicate than he in matters of taste." [84]

The Tillman movement succeeded in enacting a number of Tillman's proposals and pet projects. Among those was the crafting of a new state constitution and a state dispensary system for alcohol. Tillman held a "pathological fear of Negro rule." [85] White elites created a new constitution with provisions to suppress voting by blacks and poor whites following the 1890 model of Mississippi, which had survived an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

They followed what was known as the Mississippi Plan, which had survived a US Supreme Court challenge. Disfranchisement was chiefly accomplished through provisions related to making voter registration more difficult, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, which in practice adversely affected African Americans and poor whites. After promulgation of the new Constitution of 1895, voting was for more than sixty years essentially restricted to whites, establishing a one-party Democratic state. White Democrats benefited by controlling a House of Representatives apportionment based on the total state population, although the number of voters had been drastically reduced. Blacks were excluded from the political system in every way, including from serving in local offices and on juries.

During Reconstruction, black legislators had been a majority in the lower house of the legislature. The new requirements, applied under white authority, led to only about 15,000 of the 140,000 eligible blacks qualifying to register. [86] In practice, many more blacks were prohibited from voting by the subjective voter registration process controlled by white registrars. In addition, the Democratic Party primary was restricted to whites only. By October 1896, there were 50,000 whites registered, but only 5,500 blacks, in a state in which blacks were the majority. [87]

The 1900 census demonstrated the extent of disfranchisement: a total of 782,509 African Americans made up more than 58 percent of the state's population, essentially without any representation. [88] The political loss affected educated and illiterate men alike. It meant that without their interests represented, blacks were unfairly treated within the state. They were unable to serve on juries segregated schools and services were underfunded law enforcement was dominated by whites. African Americans did not recover the ability to exercise suffrage and political rights until the Civil Rights Movement won passage of Federal legislation in 1964 and 1965.

The state Dispensary, described as "Ben Tillman's Baby", was never popular in the state, and violence broke out in Darlington over its enforcement. In 1907, the Dispensary Act was repealed. In 1915, the legal sale of alcohol was prohibited by referendum.

Tillman's influence on the politics of South Carolina began to wane after he was elected by the legislature to the U.S. Senate in 1895. The Conservatives recaptured the legislature in 1902. The elite planter, Duncan Clinch Heyward, won the gubernatorial election. He made no substantial changes and Heyward continued to enforce the Dispensary Act at great difficulty. The state continued its rapid pace of industrialization, which gave rise to a new class of white voters, the cotton mill workers.

White sharecroppers and mill workers coalesced behind the candidacy of Tillmanite Cole Blease in the gubernatorial election of 1910. They believed that Blease was including them as an important part of the political force of the state. Once in office, however, Blease did not initiate any policies that were beneficial to the mill workers or poor farmers. Instead, his four years in office were highly erratic in behavior. This helped to pave the way for a progressive, Richard I. Manning, to win the governorship in 1914. [89]

In the 1880s Atlanta editor Henry W. Grady won attention in the state for his vision of a "New South", a South based on the modern industrial model. By now, the idea had already struck some enterprising South Carolinians that the cotton they were shipping north could also be processed in South Carolina mills. The idea was not new in 1854, De Bow's Commercial Review of the South & West had boasted to investors of South Carolina's potential for manufacturing, citing its three lines of railroads, inexpensive raw materials, non-freezing rivers, and labor pool. Slavery was so profitable before 1860 that it absorbed available capital and repelled Northern investors, but now the time for industrialization was at hand. By 1900, the textile industry was established in upland areas, which had water-power and an available white labor force, comprising men, women, and children willing to move from hard-scrabble farms to mill towns. [90]

In 1902, the Charleston Expedition drew visitors from around the world. President Theodore Roosevelt, whose mother had attended school in Columbia, called for reconciliation of still simmering animosities between the North and the South.

The Progressive Movement came to the state with Governor Richard Irvine Manning III in 1914. The expansion of bright-leaf tobacco around 1900 from North Carolina brought an agricultural boom. This was broken by the Great Depression starting in 1929, but the tobacco industry recovered and prospered until near the end of the 20th century. Cotton remained by far the dominant crop, despite low prices. The arrival of boll weevil infestation sharply reduced acreage, and especially yields. Farmers shifted to other crops. [91]

Black sharecroppers and laborers began heading North in large numbers in the era of World War I, a Great Migration that continued for the rest of the century, as they sought higher wages and much more favorable political conditions. [92]

As early as 1948, when Strom Thurmond ran for President on the States Rights ticket, South Carolina whites were showing discontent with the Democrats' post–World War II continuation of the New Deal's federalization of power. South Carolina blacks had problems with the Southern version of states' rights by 1940, the voter registration provisions written into the 1895 constitution effectively still limited African American voters to 3,000—only 0.8 percent of those of voting age in the state. [93] African Americans had not been able to elect a representative since the 19th century. Hundreds of thousands left the state for industrial cities in the Great Migration of the 20th century. By 1960, during the Civil Rights Movement, South Carolina had a population of 2,382,594, of whom nearly 35%, or 829,291 were African Americans, who had been without representation for 60 years. [94] In addition, the state enforced legal racial segregation in public facilities.

Non-violent action against segregation began in Rock Hill in 1961, when nine black Friendship Junior College students took seats at the whites-only lunch counter at a downtown McCrory's and refused to leave. [95] When police arrested them, the students were given the choice of paying $200 fines or serving 30 days of hard labor in the York County jail. The Friendship Nine, as they became known, chose the latter, gaining national attention in the Civil Rights Movement because of their decision to use the "jail, no bail" strategy.

Economic change Edit

The rapid decline of agriculture in the state has been one of the most important developments since the 1960s. As late as 1960, more than half the state's cotton was picked by hand. Over the next twenty years, mechanization eliminated tens of thousands of jobs in rural counties. By 2000, only 24,000 farms were left, with fewer than 2% of the population many others lived in rural areas on what were once farms, but they commuted to non-farm jobs. Cotton was no longer king, as cotton lands were converted into timberlands. Until the 1970s rural areas had controlled the legislature.

After 1972, both houses of the state legislature were reapportioned into single-member districts, ending another rural advantage. Coupled with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protected voting for African Americans, the reapportionment transformed South Carolina politics. The South Carolina Democratic party, which dominated the state for nearly a century after Reconstruction, began to decline at the state and county level with the 1994 elections. The majority white voters had been supporting Republican presidential candidates since the late 1960s and gradually elected the party candidates to local and state offices as well. Republicans won all but one statewide constitutional office, and control of the state house of representatives.

Fritz Hollings, governor 1959–63, who was a key supporter of development, executed a campaign to promote industrial training programs and implemented a state-wide economic development strategy. The end of the Cold War in 1990 brought the closing of military installations, such as the naval facilities in North Charleston, which Rep. Mendel Rivers had long sponsored. The quest for new jobs became a high state priority. Starting in 1975 the state used its attractive climate, lack of powerful labor unions, and low wage rates to attract foreign investment in factories, including Michelin, which located its U.S. headquarters in the state. The stretch of Interstate 85 from the North Carolina line to Greenville became "UN Alley" as international companies opened operations.

Tourism became a major industry, especially in the Myrtle Beach area. With its semitropical climate, cheap land and low construction costs (because of low wages), the state became a developer's dream. Barrier islands, such as Kiawah and Hilton Head, were developed as retirement communities for wealthy outsiders. The state's attempts to manage coastal development in an orderly and environmentally sound manner have run afoul of federal court decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court (in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council) ruled that the state, in forbidding construction on threatened beachfront property, had, in effect, seized the plaintiff's property without due process of law. The rush to build upscale housing along the coast paid its price in the billions of dollars of losses as Hurricane Hugo swept through on September 21–22, 1989. Charleston was more used to hurricanes historical preservation groups immediately stepped in to begin salvage and reconstruction, with the result that one year after Hugo, the city was virtually returned to normal.

By the late 1980s, however, the state's economic growth rate flattened. South Carolina's development plan focused on offering low taxes and attracting low-wage industries, but the state's low levels of education have failed to attract high wage, high tech industries. [96]

In 1991, under the leadership of then Governor Carroll A. Campbell, the state successfully recruited BMW's (Bavarian Motor Works) only U.S. auto factory to the city of Greer, in Spartanburg County. Second-tier and third-tier auto parts suppliers to BMW likewise established assembly and distribution facilities near the factory, creating a significant shift in manufacturing from textiles to automotive.

In 2009, the state outbid the state of Washington for a giant new Boeing plant, to be constructed in North Charleston. Boeing must create at least 3,800 jobs and invest more than $750 million within seven years to take advantage of the various tax inducements, worth $450 million. [97]

Politics Edit

In the 1970s, South Carolina white voters elected the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction. In 1987 and 1991, the state elected and reelected Governor Carroll Campbell, another Republican. Many politicians switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP, including David Beasley, a former Democrat who claimed to have undergone a spiritual rebirth he was elected governor as a Republican. In 1996, Beasley surprised citizens by announcing that he could not justify keeping the Confederate flag flying over the capitol. He said that a "spate of racially motivated violence compelled him to reconsider the politics and symbolism of the Confederate flag, and he concluded it should be moved." [98] Traditionalists were further surprised when Bob Jones III, head of Bob Jones University, announced he held the same view.

Beasley was upset for reelection in 1998 by the little-known Jim Hodges, a state assemblyman from Lancaster. Hodges attacked Beasley's opposition to the creation of a state lottery to support education. Hodges called for a fresh tax base to improve public education. Despite Hodges' unwillingness to join Beasley in his opposition to flying the Confederate flag, the NAACP announced its support for Hodges. (At the same time the NAACP demanded a boycott of conferences in the state over the flag issue). Hodges reportedly accepted millions in contributions from the gambling industry, which some estimated spent a total of $10 million to defeat Beasely. [99]

After the election, with public opinions steadfastly against video gambling, Hodges asked for a statewide referendum on the issue. He claimed that he would personally join the expected majority in saying "no" on legalized gambling, but vowed not to campaign against it. Critics in both parties suggested that Hodges' debts to the state's gambling interests were keeping him from campaigning against legalized gambling. The state constitution does not provide for referendums except for ratification of amendments. State legislators shut down the state's video casinos soon after Hodges took office.

Upon his election, Hodges announced that he agreed with Beasley's increasingly popular compromise proposal on the Confederate flag issue. He supported the flag's transfer to a Confederate monument on the State House's grounds. Many South Carolinians agreed with this position as the only solution. Further, they admired Hodges' solution to nuclear waste shipments to the state. Hodges alienated moderate voters sufficiently so that in 2002, most of the state's major newspapers supported the Republican Mark Sanford to replace him. Hodges was held responsible for the state's mishandling of the Hurricane Floyd evacuation in 1999. By 2002, most of the funds from Hodges' "South Carolina Education Lottery" were used to pay for college scholarships, rather than to improve impoverished rural and inner-city schools. Religious leaders denounced the lottery as taxing the poor to pay for higher education for the middle class.

In the lottery's first year, Hodges' administration awarded $40 million for "LIFE Scholarships", granted to any South Carolinian student with a B average, graduation in the top 30% of the student's high school class, and an 1,100 SAT score. [100] Hodges' administration awarded $5.8 million for "HOPE Scholarships", which had lower GPA requirements.

Hodges lost his campaign for reelection in 2002 against the Republican conservative Mark Sanford, a former U.S. congressman from Sullivan's Island.

Mark Sanford served two terms as governor from 2003 to 2011. He left office in the heat of a political scandal while in office, Sanford took a trip to Argentina without anyone's knowing it, and he reportedly had an affair with a woman. Sanford later publicly apologized for the affair, but he and his wife, Jenny Sullivan, divorced in 2010. Sanford was elected to the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina's 1st District in May 2013, a position which he also held from 1995 to 2003. [ citation needed ]

In 2012, Governor Nikki Haley appointed Tim Scott as one of South Carolina's two United States Senators. In 2014, Scott won election to the office and became the first African-American to serve as U.S. Senator from South Carolina since the Reconstruction era. [ citation needed ] In 2010, Nikki Haley, who took office as Governor of South Carolina in January 2011, became the first female to be elected governor. Additionally, Haley was the first person of Asian-Indian descent to be elected governor. Haley served from 2011 until 2017 President Donald Trump nominated her as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, a position which she accepted and was approved by the United States Senate. After Haley's resignation on January 24, 2017, Henry McMaster became the incumbent, 117th governor of South Carolina. [ citation needed ]

  1. ^ Charles Hudson (September 1998). Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun: Hernando de Soto and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms. University of Georgia Press. pp. 234–238. ISBN978-0-8203-2062-5 . Retrieved February 16, 2012 .
  2. ^ Walter Edgar, Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict that Turned the Tide of the American Revolution (2001) p. 34
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  4. "The American Revolution". . Retrieved 2 January 2018 .
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  13. Patricia Riles Wickman (2 March 1999). The Tree that Bends: Discourse, Power, and the Survival of Maskoki People. University of Alabama Press. p. 179. ISBN978-0-8173-0966-4 .
  14. ^Joseph Hall, "The Great Indian Slave Caper", review of Alan Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002, Common-place, vol. 3, no. 1, October 2002, accessed 4 Nov 2009
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  16. "The Regulator Movement in South Carolina". . Retrieved 2017-10-18 .
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  18. "Hokan-Siouan Languages". . Retrieved 2 January 2018 .
  19. ^ abc "The Unabridged Version of Tribes of the Carolina Lowland: Pedee - Sewee - Winyaw - Waccamaw - Cape Fear - Congaree - Wateree - Santee." Stanley South. University of South Carolina - Columbia, [email protected] (1972)
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  21. "Lumbee Language and the Lumbee Indian Culture (Croatan, Croatoan, Pamlico, Carolina Algonquian)". . Retrieved 2 January 2018 .
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  24. ^Peter A. Coclanis, "Global perspectives on the early economic history of South Carolina," South Carolina Historical Magazine, April- July 2005, Vol. 106, #2-3, pp. 130–146 (subscription required)
  25. ^ William L. Ramsey, The Yemasee War: A Study of Culture, Economy, and Conflict in the Colonial South (2008)
  26. ^ Wilson, Thomas D. The Ashley Cooper Plan: The Founding of Carolina and the Origins of Southern Political Culture. Chapter 3.
  27. ^ Carney, Judith A. Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas. 97-98.
  28. ^J. Lorand Matory, "The Illusion of Isolation: The Gullah/Geechees and the Political Economy of African Culture in the Americas", Comparative Studies in Society & History, Oct 2008, Vol. 50 Issue 4, pp. 949–980, text available online at Duke University
  29. ^ S. Max Edelson, Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina (2007)
  30. ^ David B. Ryden and Russell R. Menard, "South Carolina's Colonial Land Market," Social Science History, Winter 2005, Vol. 29 Issue 4, pp. 599–623
  31. ^David Hackett Fischer. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989), pp. 634–635
  32. ^ Richard Schulze, Carolina Gold Rice: The Ebb and Flow History of a Lowcountry Cash Crop (2006)
  33. ^Rise of the Georgetown Rice CultureArchived 2006-12-05 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^"Rice, Indigo, and Fever in Colonial South Carolina" accessed 7 Mar 2008
  35. ^ R. C. Nash, "South Carolina indigo, European textiles, and the British Atlantic economy in the eighteenth century," Economic History Review, May 2010, Vol. 63 Issue 2, pp. 362–392
  36. ^"History of Jews in South Carolina", Jewish Encyclopedia
  37. ^ Kurt Gingrich, "'That Will Make Carolina Powerful and Flourishing': Scots and Huguenots in Carolina in the 1680s." South Carolina Historical Magazine 110.1/2 (2009): 6-34. online
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  39. Konadu, Kwasi (2010-05-12). The Akan Diaspora in the Americas. Oxford University Press. ISBN9780199745388 .
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  41. "Slavery and the Making of America. Timeline | PBS". . Retrieved 2017-10-09 .
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  43. Gabbatt, Adam (24 October 2017). "A sign on scrubland marks one of America's largest slave uprisings. Is this how to remember black heroes?". Guardian US . Retrieved 24 October 2017 .
  44. ^ Peter Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619-1877, New York: Hill and Wang, 1994, p. 73
  45. ^Kings Mountain National Military Park, National Park Service, accessed 5 Mar 2008
  46. ^ Peter N. Moore, "The Local Origins of Allegiance in Revolutionary South Carolina: The Waxhaws as a Case Study," South Carolina Historical Magazine 2006 107(1): 26-41
  47. ^ Walter Edgar, ed. South Carolina Encyclopedia (2006) pp 571-73.
  48. ^ Robert Stansbury Lambert, South Carolina Loyalists in the American Revolution (2nd ed. Clemson University Digital Press, 2011) online free
  49. ^ Rebecca Brannon, From Revolution to Reunion: The Reintegration of the South Carolina Loyalists (U. of South Carolina Press, 2016).
  50. ^ Jason Stroud. Review of Brannon, Rebecca, From Revolution to Reunion: The Reintegration of the South Carolina LoyalistsH-Early-America, H-Net Reviews. May, 2018.
  51. ^ abcdefghij William H. Freehling, The Road to Disunion: Secessionists at Bay 1776-1854, pp. 213–228
  52. ^ W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880, New York: 1935, Free Press edition, 1998, p. 383
  53. ^ abcdef William H. Freehling, The Road to Disunion: Secessionists at Bay 1776-1854, pp. 253–270
  54. ^ Freehling, The Road to Disunion, pp. 146–148
  55. ^ Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, p. 297 Willentz, p. 388 - On March 13, 1833 Rhett said,

A people, owning slaves, are mad, or worse than mad, who do not hold their destinies in their own hands . Every stride of this Government, over your rights, brings it nearer and nearer to your peculiar policy. . The whole world are in arms against your institutions . Let Gentlemen not be deceived. It is not the Tariff – not Internal Improvement – nor yet the Force bill, which constitutes the great evil against which we are contending. . These are but the forms in which the despotic nature of the government is evinced – but it is the despotism which constitutes the evil: and until this Government is made a limited Government . there is no liberty – no security for the South.


Classifications Edit

  • 1946–1972: NCAA College Division
  • 1967–1969: NAIA
  • 1970–1978: NAIA Division I
  • 1973–1977: NCAA Division II
  • 1978–present: NCAA Division I–AA/FCS

Conference memberships Edit

School Record Percentage Streak First Meeting Last Meeting
Charleston Southern 7-0 1.000 Won 7 1991 1999
Clemson 0-4 .000 Lost 4 2008 2016
Coastal Carolina 0-5 .000 Lost 5 2005 2015
Furman 5-12 .294 Lost 1 1982 2015
Presbyterian 2-0 1.000 Won 2 1989 1990
South Carolina 0-2 .000 Lost 2 2007 2009
The Citadel 0-4 .000 Lost 4 1989 2001
Wofford 3-6 .333 Won 1 1974 2019
South Carolina State 17 - In-State NCAA Division I Schools 33

1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1994, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2019 [3]

The Bulldogs have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs six times with a record of 2–6.

South Carolina State University Stakeholders Must Get on the Right Side of History, Together

Alumni and students of South Carolina State University have made good on their promise of bringing hell to the state for threatening closure against their institution. Last Friday, the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in South Carolina Higher Education filed a lawsuit against the state, alleging harm done by underfunding and the state willfully duplicating programs which once were unique to SCSU at other state institutions, which created in South Carolina a publicly funded ‘separate but equal’ system of higher education for black and white students.

It is a familiar refrain from the suit brought against the State of Maryland in 2006, which seven years later led to a federal judge ruling the state’s higher education policies and programmatic efforts unconstitutional and in violation of Supreme Court civil rights precedence.

The lawsuit threat will likely force SC legislature to back off of its closure plans, and to scurry in funding and building up SCSU before a judge forces the issue with potential transfer of programs, new buildings, or mergers into its flagship public HBCU.

In ten years, two groups of HBCU constituents have filed federal suits in the name of preserving historically black higher education. These suits are the offspring of landmark judicial action in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Each of the previous legal efforts contributed towards the march for parity and equity between historically black and predominantly white institutions.

South Carolina State, with the latest efforts by state legislators to close the school, may have the best case of all for a major financial settlement or development agreement forced by a judge, or to be brokered in mediation.

But in order for South Carolina to be the hill upon which higher education discrimination nationwide dies, it will first require trustees, alumni, students and black legislators in the state to be on one accord with how to move forward.

It is understandable why many have questioned the allegiances of Elzey and the SCSU Board of Trustees as operatives in a larger political game to shut down the school. On the surface, it seems unconscionable for the president and board to have met on several occasions since the vote to close the school, without action for financial rightsizing, personnel realignment, or formal institutional response to the legislative threat.

But when an institution has been underfunded for so long and operates at a minimal level of support, it is not easy to simply rightsize without doing harm to programs and services offered to students. Cutting back faculty or programs creates instant violence to prospects of increasing enrollment, which will lead to certain death of the institution with or without political influence.

It is just as unconscionable for SCSU alumni leadership to proclaim the school ‘alive and well,’ knowing damn well that life support is the antithesis of living well.

The board and president may be suffering from sinister political loyalties, and the alumni may be suffering from a lack of authentic information and bewildering optimism about the school’s state of affairs. But both sides must be willing to put all information and personal agendas out on the table, or else, everyone loses. The alumni and students will lose their school, and the trustees will lose all credibility and favor from legislature, once the doors are locked for good.

Most of all, Orangeburg will lose its unquestioned economic engine. Hundreds will be out of jobs, millions will be sucked instantly out of the city’s commerce, and the city will dramatically decline.

But the president and board are not the priorities. The priority is galvanizing the legal and political muscle from all corners of South Carolina’s municipal and state infrastructures to solidly oppose the closure efforts. South Carolina, much like Maryland, is too racist and arrogant to accept that is cheaper to fund black colleges than to publicly lose a disgraceful, costly lawsuit over HBCU comparability.

Every HBCU community is a microcosm of the HBCU landscape at large. For generations, public HBCUs have quietly fought with state leadership nationwide to be seen and supported as mainstream members of the state higher ed community. In response, states have always treated them as peripheral members of that community unwanted appendages that grabbed only the helpless and unprepared for the discriminate rare air of higher education, only to be harshly judged for the failure of retaining, graduating, and ensuring employment for that same student group.

But equitable funding is the only solution to reversing racist tones and labels used against black colleges. Several federal courts have made it undeniably clear - funding and supporting comparability and competitiveness among HBCUs and PWIs is the only way to establish for HBCUs an identity separate and apart from one of race and cultural separatism.

Wherever they are on the scale of resources, HBCUs must be made comparable to attract students regardless of race. They must be able to establish student-faculty ratios consistent with institutional caliber, to compete for state and federal contracts and grants, to appeal to alumni for support, and to offer unique programs of industrial benefit to the cities and states in which they are stationed. Tennessee State University is the best example of this kind of it investment, but even it has a long way to serve the state in the fullness of its capacity.

After all, Middle Tennessee State University, a PWI, operates just 30 miles from Tennessee State. The programmatic and enrollment impact of MTSU on Tennessee State is not dissimilar from the impact the University of Tennessee - Nashville once had on TSU.

If SCSU supporters can unite for a common cause, they will establish a new reality for state governments which firmly believe in segregated funding and education. Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina - states which are all past ripe for federal discrimination lawsuits - will have an easier time making their case for judicial intervention. They will only need to copy the filings from South Carolina and Maryland’s coalitions, plug in their own numbers, and brace for the public fallout.

Now is the time for concerted, strategic operation from all SCSU stakeholders. Because they aren’t just working to save a campus they are working to lay a foundation for all public black colleges across the country.

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"In fine detail, William Hine explores the establishment and development of this important historically black college. Weaving a vivid tapestry of education, politics, and race, and showing the complexity and tension of the African American experience, Hine places this story in the larger discourse of conflicting interests and contrasting goals of education and race. An engaging exploration of the personalities vital to the history of South Carolina State University, the book also examines vexing questions of educational theory and probes the intersection of the humanities and the sciences. The battles fought throughout that history continue to affect politics and culture today. This is a thoughtful and rewarding contribution to a historical understanding of the African American land-grant college and the history of the state of South Carolina a valuable, indeed indispensable, account."―Orville Vernon Burton, Judge Matthew J. Perry, Jr. Distinguished Professor of History, Clemson University

"William Hine has done an excellent job in producing a thoroughly researched and well-written readable account of the history of South Carolina State University. He captures in full the challenges faced by South Carolina's only state-supported historically black institution of higher education and its success in graduating many well-prepared alumni."―Jack Bass, emeritus professor of humanities and social sciences, College of Charleston

"Spanning the century from Jim Crow to the desegregation of higher education, South Carolina State University is a model history of an institution that has played a crucial role in the state's black life. The evolution of black education, politics, and civil rights struggle in South Carolina come vividly to life in this exemplary study."―Eric Foner, Columbia University

The 1968 Orangeburg Massacre in South Carolina

On the night of February 8th, 1968, three students – Samuel Hammond, Henry Smith, and Delano Middleton, who was still in high school – were killed by police gunfire on the South Carolina State College (now University) campus in Orangeburg. Twenty-eight others were wounded. None of the students were armed and almost all were shot in their backs, buttocks, sides, or the soles of their feet.

(Delano Middleton, Samuel Hammond, Jr, and Henry Smith)

Tensions between students and police had gradually escalated over a period of three nights, following efforts by students to desegregate All Star Bowling in downtown Orangeburg. The bowling alley was owned by Harry K. Floyd, who claimed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not apply to his establishment because it was private. However, because the alley operated a lunch counter, it fell under the jurisdiction of laws regulating interstate commerce and thus federal desegregation.

( All Star Bowling by Andy Hunter, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent )

Although many black and white members of the community had tried to persuade Floyd to integrate, he refused. Appeals to the US Justice Department also went unheeded, and on the evening of Monday, February 5th, a group of roughly 40 South Carolina State students, led by senior John Stroman, entered the alley. Floyd denied them the right to play, and after the police arrived, the students returned to campus.

( 17-year-old student Delano Middleton, c. 1968 )

On Tuesday night, Stroman tried again. This time, he and other students were met by 20 police officers who initially barricaded the bowling alley's locked door. Once the door was opened, Stroman and over 30 others entered the premises, where they remained for just under half an hour. In acknowledgement of the brewing tension, Pete Strom, longtime chief of the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), had been dispatched to Orangeburg to try to maintain peace. After speaking with Strom, Stroman asked the female students to go home and advised all remaining protesters to leave if they did not want to be arrested.

Fifteen students chose to stay, hoping their arrests would compel the issue's resolution in court. As they were led to waiting patrol cars, an angry crowd gathered outside the bowling alley. New recruits arrived from campus, and some of the incoming students armed themselves with bricks obtained from a nearby construction site. An intervention by Henry Vincent, South Carolina State's Dean of Students, secured the release of the jailed students, including Stroman, who returned to the parking lot. The scene settled until a firetruck, ordered by police chief Roger Poston, arrived. A newcomer to Orangeburg, Poston was unaware that local students had been sprayed with firehoses at a 1960 sit-in. At this point, fear and a sense of betrayal swept the young crowd, despite pleas from Stroman, who climbed onto a car to calm fellow demonstrators.

( Troops March Through Orangeburg before Massacre | Bill Barley, 1968 )

By then, at least 50 (some say as many as 100) law enforcement officers were present, many brandishing truncheons. Both Poston and Stroman made repeated calls for calm, but it was too late the seeds of riot had been sown. Three to four hundred students rallied, and a surge of angry youngsters pressed against the bowling alley's storefront, hurling insults and fists. The troopers responded with broad-scale beatings. One young man's skull was cracked, and reports from that night bear witness to at least two female students being held down and clubbed by officers. Wounded and enraged, the students broke windows out of cars and four buildings during their retreat.

Wednesday, February 7th, passed in a haze of whispers and waiting. Classes on campus were cancelled, and students met to plan a protest march for later that day. Permits were sought but denied by Mayor E.O. Pendarvis and the City of Orangeburg. Instead, white officials and businessmen came to campus, but their lack of support – and in some cases their obvious disdain – further fueled the students' dissent. Together with their professors, the student body compiled a formal list of grievances and presented them at City Hall late that afternoon. The list asked for 12 items, a third of which focused on injustices within the local medical community. For example, number five asked that "the Orangeburg Medical Association make a public a statement of intent to serve all persons on an equal basis, regardless or race, religion, or creed." Number nine asked leaders to "encourag[e] the Orangeburg Regional Hospital to accept the Medicare Program." Along with All Star Bowling, Orangeburg Regional Hospital remained segregated in spite of federal law.

( Tanks Line up in Orangeburg before Massacre | Bill Barley, 1968 )

As the hours progressed, both South Carolina State and Claflin were placed on lockdown. By Thursday, February 8th, roughly 120 armed National Guardsmen, state highwaymen, and local policemen had amassed at the edges of South Carolina State's campus. An additional 450 troops were stationed downtown. The officers were issued shotguns loaded with double-ought buckshot, used to kill deer and other large game.

Even now, those present in Orangeburg that winter speak of the eerie calm that descended upon the community. They also recall the brutal temperature. Dean Livingston, longtime editor of Orangeburg's daily paper, the Times and Democrat, later said, "And cold, it was cold. One of the coldest nights, I think, I can recall in my life."

That night as darkness fell, students at South Carolina State gathered on a hill at the school's entrance, holding hands and singing. At 10 PM, they lit a bonfire. Thirty minutes later, firemen moved in to douse the blaze, backed by just under 70 officers. The students began to retreat, but someone threw either a banister or a rock, hitting a highway trooper named David Shealy in the face. Shealy fell to the ground bleeding. Another officer fired his gun in the air as a warning. Later claiming they feared the shot had been fired by a student, eight other officers and a city policeman opened fire.

( Wounded in the Orangeburg Before Massacre | Bill Barley, 1968 )

In all, the onslaught the ensued lasted from 8 and 15 seconds. Between 100 and 150 students were present. Of these, 31 young black people were shot, three of whom died. Samuel Ephesians Hammond, Jr. and Henry Ezekial Smith, ages 18 and 19 respectively, were students at South Carolina State. Delano Herman Middleton, age 17, was a senior at nearby Wilkinson High School.

Middleton was not involved in the protests. His mother worked as a maid on campus, and he often stopped there on his way home from basketball practice. In all, he was shot seven times, once in the heart. Henry "Smitty" Smith, an ROTC student and native of Marion, was shot three times, including in his neck. "Sam" or "Sammy" Hammond was a freshman from Barnwell who was studying to be a teacher. He was shot in the back and died on the floor of Orangeburg's segregated hospital. Also killed was the unborn child of Louise Kelly Cawley, age 27, one of the young women beaten during the protest at All Star Bowling. Cawley suffered a miscarriage the following week.

South Carolina State University - History

Several factors control the climate. Most important are the state's location in the northern mid-latitudes, its proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian Mountains, and elevation.

o at winter solstice, the sun is low in the southern horizon at solar noon, with a maximum zenith angle of approximately 23 1/2 o . This allows for a variance in length of day sufficient to produce ample daytime heating during summer and nighttime cooling during winter.

The state's position on the eastern coast of a continent is important because land and water heat and cool at different rates. This provides for cooling sea breezes during the summer and warms the immediate coast during the winter. Also, it influences the way pressure and wind systems affect the state. During the summer, South Carolina's weather is dominated by a maritime tropical air mass known as the Bermuda high. Passing over the Gulf Stream, it brings warm, moist air inland from the ocean. As the air comes inland, it rises and forms localized thunderstorms, resulting in a precipitation maxima (Trewarhta,1981).

The Appalachian Mountains also exert a major influence on the state's climate in three ways. First, they tend to block many of the cold air masses arriving from the northwest, thus making the winters somewhat milder. Second, the occurrence of downslope winds, which warm the air by compression, cause the areas leeward of the mountains to experience slightly higher temperatures than the surrounding areas. Hence, the proximity of the mountains to the state results in a more temperate climate than otherwise would be experienced. Lastly, the mountains cause a leeside rain shadow, an area of decreased, precipitation across the Midlands, roughly parallel to the fall line (Kronberg, 1959, Landers, 1970, and Purvis et al., 1990).


The state's annual average temperature varies from the mid-50's in the Mountains to low-60's along the coast. During the winter, average temperatures range from the mid-30's in the Mountains to low-50's in the Lowcountry. During summer, average temperatures range from the upper 60's in the Mountains to the mid-70's in the Lowcountry.

South Carolina Freeze/Frost Occurrence Dates (pdf)(Spring Latest, Fall Earliest, Probabilities, Number of Days)


Precipitation is ample and distributed with two maxima and two minima throughout the year (Trewartha,1981). The maxima occur during March and July the minima occur during May and November. There is no wet or dry season only relatively heavy precipitation periods or light precipitation periods. No month averages less than two inches of precipitation anywhere in South Carolina. In northwestern South Carolina, winter precipitation is greater than summer the reverse is true for the remainder of the state. During summer and early fall of most years, the state is affected by one or more tropical storms or hurricanes.

Average annual precipitation is heaviest in northwestern South Carolina, and annual totals vary directly with elevation, soil type, and vegetation. In the Mountains, between 70 to 80 inches of rainfall occur at the highest elevations, with the highest annual total at Caesars Head (79.29"). Across the Foothills, average annual precipitation ranges from 60 to more than 70 inches. In the eastern and southern portions of the Piedmont, the average annual rainfall ranges from 45 to 50 inches. The driest portion of the state, on the average, is the Midlands, where annual totals are mostly between 42 to 47 inches. Precipitation amounts are a little higher across the Coastal Plain. A secondary statewide maximum occurs parallel to the coast and about 10 to 20 miles inland. This maxima is a result of the sea-breeze front thunderstorms prevalent during summer. In the Coastal Plain, rainfall averages 50 to 52 inches.


The annual number of days of precipitation greater than or equal to 1 inch varies with elevation, with amounts of more than 24 in the Upstate to less than 12 in the Midlands. The annual number of days of precipitation greater than or equal to 0.1 inch varies from 95 in the Upstate to less than 70 in a portion of the Midlands. The annual number of days of precipitation greater than or equal to 0.5 inch varies from 48 in the Upstate to less than 30 in a portion of the Midlands.


Wintry precipitation (snow, sleet, and freezing rain) also affect South Carolina. Snow and sleet may occur separately, together, or mixed with rain during the winter months from November to March, although snow has occurred as late as May in the mountains. Measurable snowfall may occur from one to three times in a winter in all areas except the Lowcountry, where snowfall occurs on average once every three years. Accumulations seldom remain very long on the ground except in the mountains.

Typically, snowfall occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone moves northeastward along or just off the coast. Snow usually occurs about 150 to 200 miles inland from the center of the cyclone. The greatest snowfall in a 24-hour period was 24 inches at Rimini in February 1973. During December 1989 Charleston experienced its first white Christmas on record, and other coastal locations had more than six inches of snow on the ground for several days following. Map 1 shows the annual distribution of snow across the state.

Sleet and freezing rain vary from 3.75 events per year in Chesterfield County to less than 0.75 events per year in the Lowcountry. The highest frequency by month occurs in January with more than 1.5 events per year in the Charlotte area and Chesterfield County, to less than 0.25 events per year in the Lowcountry (Davis and Gray, 1993). This rain, which freezes on contact with the ground and other objects, can cause hazardous driving conditions, breakage of various types of wires and the poles on which they are strung. One of the most severe cases of ice accumulation from freezing rain took place February 1969 in several Piedmont and Midlands counties. Timber losses were tremendous and power and telephone services were seriously disrupted over a large area (Landers, 1970).

Severe Weather

Severe weather occurs in South Carolina occasionally in the form of violent thunderstorms and tornadoes. Although less frequent than surrounding states, thunderstorms are common in the summer months. The more violent storms generally accompany squall lines and active cold fronts of late-winter or spring. Strong thunderstorms usually bring high winds, hail, considerable lightning, and rarely spawn a tornado.

Hail occurs infrequently, falling most often during spring thunderstorms from March through May. The incidence of hail varies from 1 to 1.5 hail days per year in the Midlands, Piedmont, and Foothills to 0.5 days per year in the Lowcountry (Coffey, 1988). Although hail can occur in every month during the year, May has the highest incidence with an average of more than 5 events per year. Typically, it occurs during the late afternoon and early evening between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (Knupp, 1992).


Tornadoes in the United States are observed in every state. South Carolina ranks 23rd in the United States for annual tornado frequency during the period 2000-2019 (Figure 1).

In the period from 1950 through 2019 South Carolina saw 1037 confirmed tornadoes, an average of 14 tornadoes per year (Figure 2). From 1994 to 2019 the annual average was 25 tornadoes per year. This dramatic increase is primarily attributable to the implementation of the National Weather Service's advanced NEXRAD Doppler radar system which is able to pinpoint tornadic vortex signatures State-wide, unlike previous NWS radar systems.

The majority of South Carolina's tornadoes are short-lived EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes (Figure 3), the lowest tornado strengths on the Enhanced Fujita scale. These tornadoes with estimated wind speeds between 65 and 110 miles per hour usually cause only minimal damage and injuries. Stronger more destructive tornadoes are rare, but do occur with a consistent annual frequency of 2-4 per year (Figure 4). Destructive EF-4 tornadoes have touched down in South Carolina with wind speed of 166-200 miles per hour. There is no record or evidence of an EF-5 tornado, the strongest and most devastating on the EF scale, ever touching down in South Carolina.

Figure 5 shows the distribution of all tornado touchdowns across the State and the tracks of longer-lived tornadoes. Figures 5a-e map separate EF0, EF1, EF2, EF3, and EF4 touchdowns and tracks. Tornadoes have touched down in every South Carolina County with the most frequent touchdowns and tracks in the Midlands and Pee Dee regions. The average tornado track is three to four miles long and 110 yards wide. The longest track in recent history was 62 miles long and 400 yards wide through McCormick, Edgefield and Saluda Counties in 1992. The widest track was caused by an EF-4 tornado that created a damage swath 2600 yards wide and five miles long through Marlboro County in 1984. Figure 6 shows the 10 South Carolina counties with the most/least tornadoes.

Tornadoes have touched down in South Carolina during every month of the year however, the most likely months are in the spring, March through May, and later in the fall during September (Figure 7). During spring, tornadoes result from active cold fronts and pre-frontal squall lines. During November and December, it is not uncommon to have active cold fronts and tornadic activity. Tornado frequency reaches a minimum in October and January.

Tornadoes in South Carolina can also touch down at any time during the day or night. Figure 8 shows tornadoes are more likely to touchdown during the afternoon and early evening but, tornadoes can also touch down late at night and during the early morning hours. These tornadoes are particularly more dangerous because most people are likely asleep and not able to hear television or radio warnings and, even if awake, you would not be able to see the tornadoes in the darkness. Fortunately, Figure 9 shows that the strongest tornadoes, EF2-4, only occur in the afternoon and early evening when television and radio warnings are most effective.

Many late season tornadoes are triggered by decaying tropical storms that make landfall in or near South Carolina. These tropical tornadoes can significantly add to the annual tornado average Figure 10 . Tropical tornadoes tend to be weak, and short-lived however, Tropical Storm Francis did produce three EF-2 tornadoes and a damaging EF-3 tornado during the record outbreak in September 2004. More on the tropical tornadoes spawned by Francis and other notable tornadoes and tornado outbreaks below:

Notable Tornadoes

September 6-7, 2004:Tropical Storm Frances triggered a record 47 tornadoes as it tracked up the spine of the Appalachians. The National Weather Service, using the F0-F5 Fujita scale, identified 26 F0s, 17 F1s, 3 F2s and 1 F3 during the 2-day period. 43 tornadoes touched down on September 7, setting a new one day record. The 47 tornadoes caused widespread damage in the Low Country, Midlands and Pee Dee. Sumter County experienced the worst damage. An F2 destroyed 9 Sumter County homes, damaged 55 homes, injured 3 people and caused over $1.7 million dollars worth of damage. Kershaw County was struck by the F3 tornado which demolished several cinder block stables and deftly picked up a large horse trailer and placed it on the roof of another stable. This record setting tornado outbreak injured 13 and inflicted $2.77 million in total state-wide damages.

August 16, 1994: An outbreak of 22 confirmed tornadoes occurred when the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl merged with a cold front. The tornadoes damaged homes and buildings in a very narrow band running north from Bamberg County through Lancaster and York Counties. One tornado hit Lexington's central business district. There were no deaths, at least 40 injuries, and over $50 million in damage.

March 28, 1984: The second highest loss of life from tornadoes occurred when 11 tornadoes touched down along a narrow band that extended from Anderson County through Marlboro County. These tornadoes caused 15 deaths, 448 injuries, and damage of over $100 million. These tornadoes also caused several other storm related fatalities.

September 29, 1938: Five tornadoes struck Charleston and the surrounding areas on the morning of September 29, 1938, killing 32 and injuring 150 people. Property loss was estimated to be at least $2,000,000 and it is considered the greatest loss of life and property from tornadoes in that area since the 1886 earthquake. Out of the five tornadoes, the second and third were the most destructive striking the city directly and leaving a parallel path of destruction over 2 miles long. St. Michael's Church, City Hall, St. Phillip's Church and the Old City Market are some of the historic structures that were damaged during this event. The tornadoes were spawned as a result of a cyclone traveling up the coast.

April 30, 1924: The highest tornado death toll in South Carolina's history occurred on this date when two tornadoes struck. The paths of both were unusually long each over 100 miles long. Together they killed 77 persons, injured 778 more, destroyed 465 homes and many other buildings resulting in many millions of dollars of damage. One tornado remained on the ground from Anderson County to York County the other, which as been named "The Horrell Hill Tornado", was the more destructive of the two. Its path was 135 miles from Aiken County to Florence County.

Tropical Cyclones

Tropical cyclones affect the South Carolina coast on an infrequent basis, but do provide significant influence annually through enhanced rainfall inland during the summer and fall months. Depending on the storm's intensity and proximity to the coast, tropical systems can be disastrous. The major coastal impacts from tropical cyclones are storm surge, winds, precipitation, and tornadoes. Hurricanes are the most intense warm season coastal storms and are characterized by wind speeds exceeding 64 knots (74 miles per hour) and central pressure usually lass than 980 millibars (mb) (28.94 inches of mercury). Less intense, but more frequent, are tropical storms (winds over 34 knots and under 64 knots: greater than 980 mb central pressure) and tropical depressions (winds under 34 knots).

Notable Hurricanes

Hurricane Hugo: Hugo crossed into South Carolina coast near the Isle of Palms on September 22, 1989. Surface winds were recorded at 138 miles per hour, with gusts of 160+ miles per hour. The National Weather Service at Charleston recorded a minimum barometric pressure of 27.85 inches. Damage to coastal and inland properties, utilities, agriculture, timber and commerce exceed $6 billion. 50-70,000 people were left homeless and 26 people were killed.

Hurricane Gracie: On September 29, 1959, Gracie made landfall between Charleston and Savannah, Georgia. Winds reached 140 mph and tides reached 8 ft. Damage was estimated at $20 million (1959 dollars), and seven lives were lost.

Hurricane Hazel: Hazel caused $27 million (1954 dollars) in damage on October 14, 1954 after moving parallel to the coast and making landfall near Little River South Carolina. Winds reached 106 mph and tides greater than 16 feet at Myrtle Beach. The heaviest damage in South Carolina was from Pawleys Island northward.

August 27, 1893 Hurricane: This unnamed storm was the most deadly hurricane in South Carolina's history. This storm struck near Savannah, Georgia causing extensive flooding along the lower South Carolina coast. Winds of 120 miles per hour were measured at Charleston and Beaufort. More than 2,000 people drowned and damage estimates exceed $10 million (1893 dollars).


The state has high interannual and seasonal variabilities of precipitation. The main cause of this is the strength and geographic placement of Bermuda high. As the high pressure continues its grip over the area, solar radiation increases, which in turn increases the temperature, which then decreases the cloud cover, thereby reducing the probability of substantial precipitation.

Droughts are sometimes alleviated by a tropical cyclone. In 1954, Hurricane Hazel ended an extreme drought in eastern South Carolina, although drought conditions continued in western sections. In 1990, the remnants of Hurricane Klaus and Tropical Storm Marco ended an extreme drought.

Precipitation occurs during periods of drought, however, it is highly localized, inconsequential, and generally evaporates within 24-hours after falling. Periods of insufficient rainfall for crop growth occur during some summers. There is approximately a one in four probability of a drought somewhere in South Carolina at any time (Guttman and Plantico, 1987). Field crops such as corn, cotton, and soybeans are greatly stressed when drought conditions extend over several weeks during the growing season because only 9% of all farms in the state have irrigated acres, as compared to 26% nationwide. However, the state has a similar proportion of irrigated acres when compared to Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia. Only Florida and Georgia have higher percentages of irrigated land in the Southeast United States (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1993).

Notable Droughts

Historically, droughts have had severe adverse impacts on the people and economy of South Carolina. Periods of dry weather have occurred in each decade since 1818 (National Water Summary 1988-1989 Hydrologic Events and Floods and Droughts, 1991). The earliest records of drought indicate that some streams in South Carolina went dry in 1818, and fish in smaller streams died from lack of water in 1848. The most damaging droughts in recent history occurred in 1954, 1986, and 1998-2002. Less severe droughts were reported in 1988, 1990, 1993, and 1995. The adverse impacts on the people and economy were made especially clear during the drought of 1998-2002 that impacted agriculture, forestry, tourism, power generation, public water supplies, and fresh water fisheries.


Intense coastal storms normally occur during the fall through early spring. Their affects range from high winds and tides along the beaches to rain and occasional snowfall Upstate. The storm system of January 1, 1987, with its gale force winds and abnormally high tides, caused an estimated $25 million worth of damage to South Carolina beach front properties.

The lowest pressure ever recorded at Columbia occurred on March 13, 1993 during an intense winter cyclone. The cold weather that accompanied this storm resulted in two deaths, one on the 13th, and one on the 15th. In addition to the cold, it dumped 1.5 feet of snow in the Mountains, flurries in the Lowcountry, and caused an estimated $22 million worth of total damage to the state.

Flooding occurs on several streams in the state each year. A certain amount of control can be effected on the large rivers which have dams. The state can experience riverine flooding any month of the year. However, it is most likely to occur in association with tropical cyclones, because of their typically slow forward motion and abundant moisture.

Notable Floods

September 16, 1999: The remnants of Hurricane Floyd dumped up 15"-20" of rain along the coast triggering wide spread flooding along the South Carolina Coast. The heavy rains caused record flooding of the Waccamaw River. Over 1700 homes were damaged in Horry County. Three foot flood waters were reported in the vicinity of Murrell's Inlet. No flood related injuries were reported.

October 10-13, and October 22, 1990: . The former was a result of the remnants of Hurricane Klaus and Tropical Storm Marco moving northwards along a stationary front. This flood caused 4 deaths in Kershaw County, when a dam burst sending water across a road trapping the people in their vehicle. Another death occurred in Spartanburg County, when a toddler drowned in a rain-swollen creek. As a result of the flooding, Aiken, Calhoun, Cherokee, Darlington, Edgefield, Florence, Kershaw, Lee, Orangeburg, Spartanburg, Sumter, and Union counties were declared federal disaster areas.

August 1908: The most extensive flooding in South Carolina history occurred on this date. All the major rivers of the state rose from 9 to 22 feet above flood stage.

Excessive amounts of rain was received in the extreme eastern counties and in all of the northern and western counties. Reporting locations recorded two to four times the normal amount of rainfall, most which fell from the 23 rd to the 26 th , causing floods in all the streams and rivers of the upper and central portions. The floodwaters rose to greater heights and the floods were more destructive, and the money value of the damage was greater than ever before known, authentic records being available for comparison since 1840.

The greatest twenty-four hour rainfall was 11.65 inches, at Anderson, on the 24 th -25 th . On the 24 th -26 th , Anderson had 14.31 inches in 34 hours, at Blairs on the 24 th -26 th had in 60 hours at Calhoun Falls on the 23 rd -26 th , 9.62 inches in 63 hours, at Camden on the 25 th -26 th , at Catawba on the 23 rd -26 th , 10.12 inches in 65 hours at Cheraw on the 24 th -26 th , 6.52 inches in 62 hours, at Clemson College on the 25 th , 2.81 inches in 24 hours, at Conway on the 26 th , 2.83 inches in 14 hours, at Greenville on the 23 rd -26 th , 16.94 inches in 78 hours, at Greenwood on the 24 th -26 th , 7.06 inches in 60 hours, at Liberty on the 24-25 th , 11.12 inches in 24 hours, at Mt Holly in N.C on the 23 rd -26 th , 11.19 inches in 58 hours, at Pelzer on the 24 th -26 th , 5.14 inches in 27 hours, at Santee on the 23-25 th , 10.83 inches in 58 hours, at Spartanburg on the 24 th -26 th , 9.33 inches in 72 hours, at Ferguson on the 26 th , 2.59 inches in 24 hours at Winnsboro on the 24 th -25 th , 7.85 inches in 48 hours, at Winthrop College on the 24 th -25 th , 7.10 inches in 48 hours.

Thunderstorms occurred on 21 days during the August of 1908. The periods of maximum frequency were the 2d, 5 th , 6 th , 8 th , 16 th , 19 th , 21 st , 23 rd -26 th , when from five to eleven of the fifteen stations that recorded thunderstorms reported their occurrence.

June 1903: The highest number of people killed by floodwaters in South Carolina occurred on the Pacolet River, a tributary of the Broad River, when 60 to 80 people drowned in a flash flood.

Pacolet Flood Historical References: (Courtesy of Wofford College)

The Flood of 1903:Terror Along the Pacolet River from Textile Town:Spartanburg County South Carolina, Hub City Writers Project, 2002. pp. 77-81. Reprinted from The Great Freshet of 1903: A Morning of Terror Along the Pacolet River, by William M. Branham, Feb. 1980, pp. 8-12.

Selected pictures from Seeing Spartanburg: A history in images by Philip Racine, Hub City Writers Project 1999.

Day of Disaster from A Place Called Clifton, by Michael Hembree and David Moore, Jacobs Press 1987, pp.78-95.

Lost in the Sand from Clifton A River of Memories, by Michael Hembree and David Moore, Jacobs Press 1988, pp.168-173.

From Spartanburg Almanac compiled by Wofford College Professors J.A. Gamewell and D.D. Wallace, published by W.F. Barnes, Spartanburg, 1904, pp. 7-15.

It Can and Has Happened in South Carolina, from The State Magazine, October 2, 1955.

Destructive Floods in the United States in 1903, by E.C. Murphy. Water-Supply and Irrigation Paper No. 96 Series M, General Hydrographic Investigations, 11 United States Geological Survey, Department of the Interior. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 1904, pp 9-20.


The Mountains have a strong influence on the prevailing surface wind direction. On a monthly basis, prevailing winds tend to be either from the northeast or southwest. Winds from all directions occur throughout the state during the year, but the prevailing directions by season are:

Season Direction Degrees
Spring Southwest 210 to 240
Summer South and Southwest 170 to 250
Autumn Northeast 20 to 60
Winter Northeast and Southwest 20 to 60

NC State University Wind Rose Generator

Average surface wind speeds for all months range between 6 and 10 miles per hour. Upper air winds (more than 1500 meters above mean sea level) are usually southwest to northwest in winter and spring, south to southwest in summer, and southwest to west in autumn. The mountains control wind direction during all seasons, but have a more pronounced effect in the winter, summer, and autumn.

During winter, most cyclones that affect the state pass to the south of the Mountains. As these systems move around the Mountains, the winds are generally southwest. As the cyclone moves over the Atlantic Ocean, the winds shift to the northeast. During summer, air flows north along the western edge of the Bermuda High, from the Gulf of Mexico. Quite often the Mountains form the western extent of the Bermuda High.

During autumn, winds are northeast because the mountains form the southern edge of the pre-dominant continental high pressure pattern known as a "wedge". This type of weather system moves southward along the eastern seaboard, with a center of circulation over New England. This circulation fosters northeast winds as the air wraps about the center in a clockwise fashion.

The Bermuda High also contributes to air stagnation, especially during the summer. During the period 1936-75, it was shown that the state experienced between 20 stagnation days per year in the Coastal Plain and more than 28 stagnation days per year occurred in the Central Savannah River area. The winds in stagnant air are very light, and tend to be rather disorganized in direction (Aneja and Yoder, 1992).


Pan evaporation measurements are available for selected sites across the state. These observations may be expressed in the number of inches of water per dry day, per month, or per year, from an evaporation pan. The evaporation pan is accurately leveled at a site which is nearly flat, well-sodded, and free from obstructions. The pan is filled with water to a depth of eight inches, and daily measurements are made of the changes in water level.

Map 2 depicts the average annual pan evaporation. Average annual pan evaporation observations show considerable variation across the state. The largest annual evaporation, more than 65 inches, is found in the Lowcountry. There is, however, a second area of more than 60 inches that extends across the Midlands. Moving northwest across the state, pan evaporation measurements decrease with annual values of less than 40 inches in the higher elevations of the Upstate. The only significant anomaly to the above are the Clark Hill observations which are lower than nearby areas, due to its close proximity to a large lake.


Aneja, Viney P. and G. Yoder. Characterization of Ozone Climatology in the Southeastern United States and Climate Change. Research Paper #010192, Southeast Regional Climate Center, Columbia, SC 1992.

Austin, Hal. The Horrell Hill Tornado, April 30, 1924. Research Paper #032393, Southeast Regional Climate Center, Columbia, South Carolina, 1993.

Changnon, David, J.H. Jacobson, and D.J. Smith. Analysis of the October 10-13, 1990, Heavy Rains and Their Impacts on the Southeast. Research Report #101591, Southeast Regional Climate Center, Columbia, South Carolina, 1991.

Coffey, James R. South Carolina Crop-Hail Risk Patterns: A Geographic Analysis. Unpublished Master's Thesis, University of South Carolina, Department of Geography, Columbia, South Carolina, 1988.

Davis, Robert E. and D.A. Gay. Freezing Rain and Sleet Climatology of the Southeastern U.S.A. Research Paper #052593, Southeast Regional Climate Center, Columbia, South Carolina, 1993.

Guttman, Nathaniel and M. Plantico. "Drought History and Chance of Recurrence" in Climate Report G-30: Southeast Drought Symposium Proceedings, March 4-5, 1987 (Scott F. Sidlow, Editor) South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Division (Formerly South Carolina Water Resources Commission), Columbia, South Carolina, 1987.

Knupp, Kevin R. Climatology of Severe Weather Events for the Southeastern United States. Research Paper #040192, Southeast Regional Climate Center, Columbia, South Carolina, 1992.

Kronberg, Nathan and J.C. Purvis. Climates of the States: South Carolina, in Climatography of the States, United States Department of Commerce, Washington, District of Columbia, 1959.

Landers, H. The Climate of South Carolina, in Climates of the States, Volume 1, Water Information Center, Inc., Port Washington, New York, 1974.

List, Robert J. Smithsonian Meteorological Tables, Sixth Revised Edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, District of Columbia, 1984.

Purvis, John C. Climate Report G-2: South Carolina Tornado Statistics: 1950-82. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Division (Formerly South Carolina Water Resources Commission), Columbia, South Carolina, In Preparation.

Purvis, John C. South Carolina Pan Evaporation. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Division (Formerly South Carolina Water Resources Commission), Columbia, South Carolina, In Preparation.

Purvis, John C.,W. Tyler, S.F. Sidlow. Climate Report G-26: Hurricanes Affecting South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Division (Formerly South Carolina Water Resources Commission), Columbia, South Carolina, 1986.

Purvis, John C.,S.F. Sidlow, D.J. Smith, I. Turner, W. Tyler. Research Report No. 2, South Carolina Tornado Statistics, 1912-1989. Southeast Regional Climate Center, Columbia, South Carolina, 1990.

Purvis, John C.,W. Tyler, S.F. Sidlow. Climate Report G-5: General Characteristics of South Carolina's Climate. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Division (Formerly South Carolina Water Resources Commission), Columbia, South Carolina, 1990.

Sidlow, Scott F., W. Tyler. Climate Report G-31: South Carolina Sunrise and Sunset Tables and Sun Path Diagrams. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Division (Formerly South Carolina Water Resources Commission), Columbia, South Carolina, 1990.

Smith, David J. Climate Report G-18: Hurricane Risk Hilton Head, South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Columbia, South Carolina, 1994.

Snyder, H. Stephen, S.J. deKozlowski, T.W. Greaney, J.A. Harrigan, M.K. Haralson, H.T. Shaw, G.E. Siple, F.L. Collins, D.L. Miller. South Carolina State Water Assessment, Report No. 140. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Division (Formerly South Carolina Water Resources Commission), Columbia, South Carolina, 1983.

Trewartha, Glenn T. and L.H. Horn. An Introduction to Climate, Fifth Edition. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, New York, 1980.

Trewartha, Glenn T. The Earth's Problem Climates, Second Edition. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 1981.

Turner, Ian, J.C. Purvis, W. Tyler, S.F. Sidlow. Climate Report G-37: Hurricane Hugo 1989. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Division (Formerly South Carolina Water Resources Commission), Columbia, South Carolina, 1990.

United States Department of Commerce. 1961-1990 Normal Temperature and Precipitation. National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina, 1992.

United States Department of Commerce. Storm Data, October 1990, 32:10. National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina, 1990.

United States Department of Commerce. Storm Data, March 1993, 35:3. National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina, 1993.

United States Department of Commerce. 1992 Census of Agriculture, 1:51 United States Summary and State Data. Bureau of the Census, Washington D.C., 1993.

United States Department of War. Monthly Weather Review, XVIII:5. United States Army Signal Corps, Washington, District of Columbia, 1890.

Threatened with closure, one historically black university charts a path to recovery

When Darian James walks across the South Carolina State campus in her hometown of Orangeburg she sees a place where much of her life to this point has played out. It’s the place where she went to preschool through middle school.

She also sees the place that won her over, despite a desire to get away from home to go to college, by offering her an opportunity no other historically black college or university, or any other university in South Carolina could — the chance to be a nuclear engineering major.

“I wanted to do something different,” she said sitting in the school’s applied radiation science lab the day before graduation. “I wanted to do something that females aren’t really found in, and pursue a degree where minorities are lacking.”

But since February, when state legislators floated and then dropped a controversial proposal to close South Carolina State for two years to bring long-simmering financial troubles under control, the public has seen a different version of the state’s only publicly funded historically black university. One that includes a six-year graduation rate of 36 percent, an expected deficit of more than $23 million by next month, and an upcoming vote by the school’s accreditors on whether to lift or continue a probation on its accreditation or end that accreditation all together.

Students, faculty and alumni of South Carolina State on why their school is worth saving. Videos by PBS NewsHour.

The school’s financial struggles started long before January. State funding for the university is down 46 percent from its 2007-08 high, a larger decline than any other four-year school in the state saw over the same period. Student enrollment has dropped from nearly 5,000 in 2007 to fewer than 3,000 this year, in part because of uncertainty over the school’s financial future. A lawsuit filed on behalf of students and alumni argues the state allowed South Carolina’s other public schools to duplicate most of SC State’s academic programs, making the campus less competitive.

Turmoil has defined the school’s leadership as enrollment and funding have dropped. When W. Franklin Evans was installed as acting president in February, he became the seventh president since 2007. Earlier this month lawmakers struck a deal to fire and replace the school’s board of trustees. The new board will have its first meeting tomorrow morning. Its members come from the worlds of finance and academia and are slated to be in place until 2018.

Less-selective, regional colleges across the country are straining under the same factors SC State faces: declining enrollment and tuition revenue, declining state support, more competition from online programs and little or no endowment to fall back on while the institution adjusts.

But those challenges may weigh more heavily on some publicly funded historically black college and universities like South Carolina State, according to Marybeth Gasman, director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania.

“They have low alumni giving rates,” she said. “And they don’t have a safety net to rely on because of the way they’ve been underfunded and discriminated against throughout history.”

While these schools have weaker funding bases they are serving a disproportionate number of students who are first-generation college goers or come from low-income households.

Strong, vocal leaders who are focused on the particular needs of these types of students are one hallmark of historically black institutions that are thriving, Gasman said. If South Carolina State’s new leaders can turn the campus around, it could be a roadmap for other ailing schools.

Ed Patrick, the school’s interim vice president of finance, is advocating for cost cuts past leaders were unwilling to make and proposing more manageable repayment plans for millions the school owes to the state and campus vendors.

“So far, no one’s turning their backs on me,” he said.

Patrick said a long-term strategy for rebuilding the school’s finances is essential to retaining the school’s accreditation and building the trust of potential donors and the lawmakers who control state funds.

Calls from South Carolina State supporters for increased state funding are likely to be met with skepticism since a $6 million emergency loan from the state last year didn’t stop the school’s finances from unraveling further.

Acting South Carolina State University President W. Franklin Evans poses with students receiving diplomas at commencement in Orangeburg, South Carolina May 8, 2015. Photo by Kyla Calvert Mason/PBS NewsHour

“There is certainly merit in saying that the university should receive additional funding,” said Gilda Cobb-Hunter, who has represented Orangeburg in the state’s House of Representatives since 1992, “but to be fair that applies to all the other 32 institutions in this state. The difference with South Carolina State compared to some of the other universities, quite frankly, is the revenue these other universities have been able to generate either through alumni, through research or private donors.”

The previous board launched a $20 million fundraising campaign in April and a student think tank assembled by Patrick and Evans wants to raise $1 million for campus scholarships this summer.

“When you see issues that need to be resolved, as opposed to just sitting and saying ‘OK, that needs to be done, they need to do something about this’ why not start with us?” said Omari Richards, a rising sophomore and business management major who is part of the student think tank.

To grow enrollment though, prospective students will have to believe they can get something on the Orangeburg campus other universities can’t offer.

Gasman and other say one thing SC State and other historically black colleges have excelled at is finding and support students who might not otherwise make it through college.

And for many SC State alumni, that’s what still defines the school for them — it was a place that gave them opportunities no other university could or would.

Abraham Turner, a retired Army major general, went through the SC State’s ROTC program and graduated in 1976. He said the Bulldog Battalion has commissioned more than 2,000 military officers since it started in the 1940s, including 19 generals. Even amid financial upheaval, the class of 2015 included the school’s largest group of commissioned officers coming out of the ROTC program.

For Vernell Brown, who heads the school’s national alumni association, the school is a landmark of South Carolina’s civil rights history. She watched from the roof of her dorm on Feb. 8, 1968, as police fired on students who were demonstrating at the main campus entrance for the desegregation of the city’s bowling alley. Ambulances did not come to the campus. Three students died in what is now called the Orangeburg Massacre and dozens were wounded.

“It was a dark thing for the state of South Carolina, that three young men got killed and probably 60 or more got shot for nothing,” she said. “It was not about the bowling alley, but it was about the right to go and be where you wanted to be. I think it’s important not to rehash, but that students will know what people went through for what they see on campus today.”

On campus today, Evans is looking to the school’s science, technology, engineering and math programs to offer students opportunities they won’t find on other South Carolina campuses.

Darian James, left, with Kenneth Lewis, dean of South Carolina State’s College of Science, Mathematics and Engineering. Photo by Kyla Calvert Mason/PBS NewsHour

Where the program excels, according to Kenneth Lewis, SC State’s dean of science, mathematics, engineering technology, is with supporting students with the potential to excel who may not be in the running for competitive programs

“A lot of our kids are rural kids from small towns, rural towns in South Carolina where they might not have calculus, for example. We spend a lot of time with those kids, developing them, encouraging them, and strengthening their background, “ he said. “I think that distinguishes us from larger majority institution where you might have students that are better prepared coming in. We make sure that the end of our students’ careers, that they can go anywhere and perform well.”

The department got state approval this month to start a new degree program in industrial engineering and has plans to apply to start a civil engineering program. Lewis expects those programs to have the same draw.

James graduated summa cum laude earlier this month. She spent her final semester at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and will start a Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering there this fall. She’s one of about a dozen of the program’s grads to go onto a Ph.D. program since 2008.

The chance to enter a unique field brought her to South Carolina State, but that isn’t what she’d say the campus’ biggest selling point is today.

“That family environment taught me to get comfortable being uncomfortable. It pushed me,” she said. “Just being in Wisconsin this semester it showed me that I felt very confident there and it didn’t hurt to ask for help. So, South Carolina State molded me into a person that is not afraid.”

Editor’s note: This post has been changed to correct the following errors. It originally stated lawmakers proposed closing South Carolina State University in January, they made that proposal on February 10. W. Franklin Evans was also identified as interim president of the school, he is acting president.

PBS NewsHour coverage of higher education is supported by the Lumina Foundation and American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Left: Darian James, a nuclear engineering graduate of South Carolina State, said it has been hard to see the school she loves plagued by financial strife and negative media attention. Photo by Kyla Calvert Mason/PBS NewsHour

Watch the video: Virtual Tour of SC State University