South Carolina

From New World Encyclopedia
State of South Carolina
Flag of South Carolina State seal of South Carolina
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Palmetto State
Motto(s): Dum spiro spero (Latin)
Animis opibusque parati† (Latin), Prepared in Mind and Resources
Map of the United States with South Carolina highlighted
Official language(s) English
Capital Columbia
Largest city capital
Largest metro area Columbia (MSA)
Area  Ranked 40th
 - Total 32,020[1] sq mi
(82,931. km²)
 - Width 200 miles (320 km)
 - Length 260 miles (420 km)
 - % water 6
 - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N
 - Longitude 78° 32′ W to 83° 21′ W
Population  Ranked 24th in the U.S.
 - Total 4,679,230 (2011 est)[2]
- Density 155/sq mi  (60.0/km2)
Ranked 19th in the U.S.

 - Median income  $39,326 (39th)
 - Highest point Sassafras Mountain[3][4]
3,560 ft  (1,085 m)
 - Mean 350 ft  (110 m)
 - Lowest point Atlantic Ocean[3]
0 ft  (0 m)
Admission to Union  May 23, 1788 (8th)
Governor Nikki Haley (R)
Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard (R)
U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R)
Jim DeMint (R)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Abbreviations SC US-SC
Web site

South Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States of America. According to 2005 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, the state's population is 4,321,249.

It was part of the 1663 charter in which Charles I of England granted the Lords Proprietor title to all of the land from the southern border of the Virginia Colony from 36 degrees north to 31 degrees north (along the coast of present-day Georgia).

Its history has been a record of commitment to political independence and the epitome of decentralization (Anti-federalism) in the U.S. The Province of South Carolina was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. As a cornerstone of mercantilism and the slave trade, it was also the first state to secede from the Union to found the Confederate States of America.

In the twentieth century industry took over the dominant role formerly held by agriculture in South Carolina's economy, and the focus of textile production shifted from cotton to synthetic fabrics. In the 1990s the major industries were textiles and chemicals, and foreign investment played a major role in the state's economy. Tourism also played a role, with the coastal areas drawing visitors from around the nation.

In the postwar period, the Democrats' traditional control of the state weakened, and, beginning with Barry Goldwater, Republican presidential candidates have carried the state in every election except that of 1976, in which Southerner Jimmy Carter prevailed.


In colonial days, the state was part of a vast region that Charles I of England, granted to Sir Robert Heath in 1629. The region was named Carolana, a word derived from the Latin form of Charles, in reference to the monarch. His son, Charles II of England, changed the spelling of the region’s name to Carolina in 1663. During the 17th century the area now covered by the present state came to be called South Carolina and the area to the north became North Carolina. The two sections remained a single colony until the British divided it into two in 1729.


Map of South Carolina

South Carolina is bounded to the north by North Carolina; to the south and west by Georgia, located across the Savannah River; and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.

South Carolina is composed of four geographic areas, whose boundaries roughly parallel the northeast/southwest Atlantic coastline. The lower part of the state is the Coastal Plain, also known as the Lowcountry, which is nearly flat and composed entirely of recent sediments such as sand, silt, and clay. Areas with better drainage make excellent farmland, though some land is swampy. The coastline contains many salt marshes and estuaries, as well as natural ports such as Georgetown, Port Royal and Charleston. An unusual feature of the coastal plain is a large number of Carolina bays, the origins of which are uncertain, though one prominent theory suggests that they were created by a meteor shower. The bays tend to be oval, lining up in a northwest to southeast orientation.

Just west of the coastal plain is the Sand Hills region, which is thought to contain remnants of old coastal dunes from a time when the land was sunken or the oceans were higher.

The Piedmont (Upstate) region contains the roots of an ancient, eroded mountain chain. It tends to be hilly, with thin, stony clay soils, and contains few areas suitable for farming. Much of the Piedmont was once farmed, with little success, and is now reforested. At the southeastern edge of the Piedmont is the fall line, where rivers drop to the coastal plain. The fall line was an important early source of water power, and mills built to harness this resource encouraged the growth of several cities, including the capital, Columbia. The larger rivers are navigable up to the fall line, providing a trade route for mill towns.

The northwestern part of the Piedmont is also known as the Foothills. The Cherokee Parkway is a scenic driving route through this area. This is where Table Rock State Park is located.

Coastal towns and cities often have hurricane resistant Live oaks overarching the streets in historic neighborhoods, such as these on East Bay Street, Georgetown.

Highest in elevation is the Upstate, containing an escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which continue into North Carolina and Georgia, as part of the southern Appalachian chain. Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina's highest point at 3,560 feet (1,085 m) is located in this area.[3] Also located in the Upcountry is Caesar's Head State Park. The Chattooga River, located on the border between South Carolina and Georgia, is a favorite whitewater rafting destination.

Areas under the management of the National Park Service include:

  • Charles Pinckney National Historic Site at Mt. Pleasant
  • Congaree National Park in Hopkins
  • Cowpens National Battlefield near Chesnee,
  • Fort Moultrie National Monument at Sullivan’s Island
  • Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston Harbor
  • Kings Mountain National Military Park at Blacksburg
  • Ninety Six National Historic Site in Ninety Six
  • Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail


South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa), although high elevation areas in the "Upstate" area have less subtropical characteristics than areas on the Atlantic coastline. In the summer, South Carolina is hot and humid with daytime temperatures averaging between 86-92 °F (30-33 °C) in most of the state and overnight lows over 70 °F (21 °C) on the coast and in the high 60s°F (near 20 °C) further inland. Winter temperatures are much less uniform in South Carolina. Coastal areas of the state have very mild winters with high temperatures approaching an average of 60 °F (16 °C) and overnight lows in the 40s°F (5-8 °C). Further inland in the higher country, the average January overnight low can be below freezing. While precipitation is abundant the entire year in almost the entire state, near the coast tends to have a slightly wetter summer, while inland March tends to be the wettest month.

Snowfall in South Carolina is minimal with coastal areas receiving less than an inch (2.5 cm) on average. It isn't uncommon for areas on the coast (especially the southern coast) to receive no recordable snowfall in a given year, although it usually receives at least a small dusting of snow annually. The interior receives a little more snow, although nowhere in the state averages more than 6 inches (15 cm) a year.

The state is prone to tropical cyclones and it is a yearly concern during hurricane season which is from June-November, although the peak time of vulnerability for the southeast Atlantic coast is from early August to early October when the Cape Verde hurricane season lasts. South Carolina averages around 50 days of thunderstorm activity a year, which is less than some of the states further south and is slightly less vulnerable to tornadoes than the states which border on the Gulf of Mexico. Still, some notable tornadoes have struck South Carolina and the state averages around 14 tornadoes annually.[5]


The area that is now the contemporary U.S. state of South Carolina has been populated since at least 13,000 B.C.E. (when tool-making nomads began to leave material remains). Several American Indian groups of Iroquoian stock, including the Cherokee, inhabited the northwestern section, while those of the Siouan heritage—of whom the Catawba were the most numerous—occupied the northern and eastern regions. Indians of Muskogean stock lived in the south.

In the early 1500s, long before the English claimed the Carolinas, Spanish sea captains explored the coast. The Spaniards made an unsuccessful attempt to establish a settlement in 1526 at Winyah Bay, near the present city of Georgetown. Thirty-six years later, a group of French Huguenots under Jean Ribault landed at a site near Parris Island, but the colony failed after Ribault returned to France.[6]

With the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Charles II of England rewarded eight persons on March 24, 1663, for their faithful support in his efforts to regain the throne of England. He granted the eight grantees, called Lords Proprietors or simply Proprietors, the land called Carolina.

The 1663 charter granted the Lords Proprietor title to all of the land from the southern border of the Virginia Colony from 36 degrees north to 31 degrees north (along the coast of present-day Georgia). In 1665, the charter was revised slightly, with the northward boundary extended to 36 degrees 30 minutes north to include the lands of settlers along the Albemarle Sound who had left the Virginia Colony. Likewise the southern boundary was moved south to 29 degrees north, just south of present-day Daytona Beach, Florida.

The proprietary colony of Carolina was first settled at Charles Town in 1670, mostly by immigrants from the (one of many) English colony of Barbados. The Charleston settlement developed more rapidly than the Albemarle Sound and Cape Fear settlements due to the advantages of a natural harbor and easy access to trade with the West Indies.

This historic home is at "The Battery," a neighborhood/park area at the Downtown Historic District of Charleston - a well-known historical city in South Carolina. "The Battery" is also known as White Point Gardens.

Charleston served as the principal seat of government for the entire province. However, due to their remoteness from each other, the northern and southern sections of the colony operated more or less independently until 1691 with the appointment of Philip Ludwell as governor of both areas.

Differences between the northern and southern parts of Carolina developed during proprietary rule and separate governors were established for each section. Colonists overthrew the proprietors after the Yamasee War of 1715-1717. In 1719 the colony was officially made a crown colony, although the Lords Proprietors held their rights until 1729.

South Carolina declared independence from Great Britain and set up its own government on March 15, 1776. It joined the United States by signing the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge were the signers from South Carolina. For two years its president was John Rutledge, who became governor. On February 5, 1778, South Carolina became the first state to ratify the first constitution of the U.S., the Articles of Confederation. The Charleston merchant Henry Laurens served as President of the Continental Congress in 1777 and 1778.

By the time of the American Revolution, South Carolina was one of the richest colonies in America. Its merchants and planters formed a strong governing class, contributing many leaders to the fight for independence. More Revolutionary War battles and skirmishes were fought in South Carolina than any other state.[7]

By the 1820s South Carolinian John C. Calhoun developed the theory of nullification, by which a state could reject any federal law it considered to be a violation of its rights. Armed conflict was avoided during this period, but by 1860 tensions between the state and the federal government reached a climax.

Currier and Ives print of the bombardment of Fort Sumter

With the election of Abraham Lincoln on an anti-slavery platform in 1860, South Carolina immediately and with considerable unanimity decided to secede. On December 20, 1860 it became the first state to leave the Union. In February it joined the Confederate States of America. In April the American Civil War began when Confederate forces attacked the American fort at Fort Sumter, in Charleston, 1861.

After the Confederate defeat, South Carolina underwent Reconstruction. Freed African-Americans and poor whites benefited during Reconstruction, when they expanded the franchise, created and funded a public school system, and created social welfare institutions. The constitution they passed was kept nearly unaltered for 27 years, and most legislation passed during the Reconstruction years lasted longer than that.[8] African-American gains were short-lived. As white planters returned to dominance, they passed Jim Crow laws, especially severe in South Carolina, to create public segregation and control movement of African-American laborers. The whites passed laws that effectively disenfranchised African-Americans by the turn of the century. Although a majority in the state from before the Civil War, African-Americans suffered much diminished civil rights until they won restored protection under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

From 1865 to 1940 the state was poor. Educational levels were low as public schools were underfunded, especially for African-Americans. Most people lived on farms. The more affluent were landowners, who subdivided the land into farms operated by tenant farmers or sharecroppers, along with land operated by the owner using hired labor.

The main economic transformation after 1890 was the replacement of rice and cotton growing by tobacco and soybean cultivation and truck farming, along with the movement of sharecroppers, from the land to the cities. There they found jobs in textile mills, and textiles became the state's leading industry after 1900.

In 1900 the population of South Carolina was 1,340,316. By 1920 it had risen to 1,683,724. The rate of increase slowed in the 1920s as the effects of soil erosion drove many farmers from the state, particularly from the lower Piedmont region. Compounding the effects of erosion was an infestation of the boll weevil, an insect pest from Mexico that feeds on the seed pods of cotton plants. Boll weevils destroyed half of the state’s cotton crop in 1922. Poor black farmers left in large numbers, and in 1930, for the first time in 110 years, the census showed South Carolina’s white population to be larger than its black population.[9]

South Carolina's textile industry thrived until the end of the twentieth century, but by 2007, textile employment had dropped significantly, mostly as a result of foreign competition. The state also converted its agricultural base from cotton to more profitable crops, attracted large military bases and, most recently, attracted European manufacturers.

Public school desegregation after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling of 1954 proceeded peaceably, but very slowly. In 1983, for the first time in 95 years, a black state senator was elected; the following year, four blacks were elected to the reapportioned senate.

Despite these changes, most white South Carolinians remained staunchly conservative in political and social matters, as witnessed by the 1999–2000 controversy over the display of the Confederate flag on the dome of the State House. The controversy prompted the NAACP to call for a tourism boycott of the state. Legislators brokered a compromise that moved the flag, viewed as a symbol of oppression by African-Americans, to a spot in front of the capitol, where it flies from a 30-ft pole. The "solution," though favored by most South Carolinians who were polled, did not satisfy most of the black community. [10]

By 2000 South Carolina voted solidly Republican in presidential elections, but state and local government elections were contested by the two parties. The population continued to grow, reaching four million in 2000, as coast areas became prime locations for tourists and retirees. With a poverty rate of 13.5 percent, the state was only slightly worse than the national average of 11.7 percent.


South Carolina Population Density Map

South Carolina's center of population is located in Richland County, in the city of Columbia[11]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2005, South Carolina has an estimated population of 4,255,083, which is an increase of 57,191, or 1.4 percent, from the prior year and an increase of 243,267, or 6.1 percent, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 97,715 people (that is 295,425 births minus 197,710 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 151,485 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 36,401 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 115,084 people.

The five largest ancestry groups in South Carolina are African-American (29.5 percent), American (13.9 percent), Germany (8.4 percent), English (8.4 percent) and Irish (7.9 percent). For most of South Carolina's history, black slaves, and then their descendants, made up a majority of the state's population. Whites became a majority in the early 20th century, when tens of thousands of blacks moved north in the Great Migration. Most of the African-American population lives in the Lowcountry (especially the inland Lowcountry) and the Midlands; areas where cotton, rice, and indigo plantations once dominated the landscape.


South Carolina, like most other Southern states, is overwhelmingly Protestant Christian, and has a significantly lower percentage of non-religious people than the national average. The religious affiliations of the people of South Carolina are as follows:

One of Charleston's nicknames is the Holy City because of the old historical churches whose steeples still grace the modern world. St. Philip's Episcopal Church (1680), Circular Congregational Church (1681), The French Huguenot Church (1682), First Baptist Church (1682), First (Scots) Presbyterian Church (1731), and St. Michael's Episcopal Church (1751) are all still home to modern congregations.

Sephardic Jews have over a 300 year history in South Carolina, especially in and around Charleston. South Carolina had, until around 1830, the largest colony of Jews in North America. Established in 1749, Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim became the first Reform Jewish congregation in the United States in 1841, and is the oldest surviving Reform synagogue in the world. [12]


South Carolina quarter, reverse side, 2000.jpg

As of 2004, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, South Carolina’s gross state product was $136 billion. As of 2000, the per capita income was $24,000, which was 81% of the national average.

Major agricultural outputs of the state are: tobacco, poultry, cattle, dairy products, soybeans, and hogs. Farms have become fewer but larger in recent years. South Carolina ranks third in peach production; it ranks fourth in overall tobacco production. Other top agricultural commodities include nursery and greenhouse products, watermelons, peanuts, broilers and turkeys. The only commercial tea plantation in America is 20 miles south of Charleston on Wadmalaw Island.

Industrial outputs include: textile goods, chemical products, paper products, machinery, and tourism. Some 25 percent of manufacturing companies in South Carolina are foreign-owned.[13]In 2003 trade pumped $23 billion into the state economy and generated $2.5 billion in state and local taxes.[14]

Gossypium hirsutum Mature cotton almost ready to pick, Manning, South Carolina

In 1997, nearly half of the $5.5 billion in capital investments in South Carolina came from international firms, with 57 German companies leading the way. Interstate 85 has been dubbed the "American Autobahn" because there are so many German suppliers in the state. [15]They include BMW, Michelin Tire Corp., Robert Bosch Corp. and Cummins Engine Co., Ingersoll-Rand, AlliedSignal, Borg-Warner, Emitec and Goodyear.

Japanese-affiliated companies have invested $4.5 billion in South Carolina, where currently more than 80 Japanese-affiliated companies operate. These companies in total employ 17,427 workers. Some major Japanese firms in South Carolina are Fuji Photo Film, Inc., AVX Corporation, Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., Mitsubishi Polyester Film, LLC and Honda of South Carolina. South Carolina's exports to Japan in 2004 amounted to $436.2 million, making Japan it's 7th largest export market.[16]

The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) posted record container volume, breakbulk tonnage, revenues and earnings in 2006 at its three locations. Operating revenues totaled $154 million, up 11.6 percent from the previous year, while operating earnings rose to $53.3 million.[17]

Fishing is a major commercial enterprise; the chief catches are blue crabs and shrimp. Military bases and nuclear facilities are important to the economy, as is the tourist industry.

Alcohol and gambling

Prohibition was a major issue in the state's history. Voters endorsed prohibition in 1892 but instead were given the "Dispensary System" of state-owned liquor stores. They soon became symbols of political corruption controlled by Ben Tillman's machine and were shut down in 1907. Today, most counties in South Carolina do not allow the sale of alcohol on Sunday, but counties and cities can apply referendums to overturn this; six counties have.

Even though the State of South Carolina does not allow legalized casino gambling, it did allow the operation of Video Poker Machines throughout the state with approximately $2 billion dollars per year deposited into the state's coffers. However, at Midnight on July 1, 2000 a new law took effect which outlawed the operation, ownership and possession of such machines in the state with machines required to be shut-off at that time and removed from within the state's borders by July 8 or owners of such machines would face criminal prosecution. [18]

In January 7, 2002 the South Carolina Education Lottery was introduced. Its first year it brought in $319 Million while in 2006 the total was $1,144 Million.


The state sales tax is 6 percent for non-grocery goods and 3 percent for grocery goods. Counties have the option to impose an additional 2 percent sales tax. [19] Citizens 85 or older get a one-percent exclusion from the state's sales tax.

Both real and personal property are subject to tax. Approximately two-thirds of county-levied property taxes are used for the support of public education. The passage of a recent state law will replace local property tax funding of education with a statewide 1 percent sales tax increase. Municipalities levy a tax on property situated within the limits of the municipality for services provided by the municipality. The tax is paid by individuals, corporations and partnerships owning property within the state. South Carolina imposes a casual excise tax of 5 percent on the fair market value of all motor vehicles, motorcycles, boats, motors and airplanes transferred between individuals. The maximum casual excise tax is $300. In South Carolina, intangible personal property is exempt from taxation. There is no inheritance tax.


Major interstate highways passing through the state include: I-20 which runs from Florence in the east through Columbia to the southwestern border near Aiken; I-26 which runs from Charleston in the southeast through Columbia to the northern border in Spartanburg County; I-77 which runs from York County in the north to Columbia; I-85 which runs from Cherokee County in the north through Greenville to the southwestern border in Oconee County; I-385 which runs from Downtown Greenville and intersects with I-26 near Laurens; and I-95 which runs from the northeastern border in Dillon County to the southern border in Jasper County.

Amtrak passes through Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, Florence, and Charleston.

Commercial airports are located in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville/Spartanburg, Florence, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head Island.

Law and government

South Carolina State House

Columbia is the state capital and largest city of South Carolina, as well as the county seat of Richland County, with an estimated population in 2006 of 122,819. The city is the center of a rapidly growing metro area of 703,771.

Founded in 1786 as the site of South Carolina's new capital city, it was one of the first planned cities in the U.S. From its beginnings, the site of Columbia was important to the overall development of the state. The area is often cited for its high quality of life offerings, with its many cultural amenities, parks, and recreational features. Columbia was named one of 30 communities among "America's Most Livable Communities." The award was given by the Washington-based non-profit Partners for Livable Communities and honors communities that are developing themselves in the creative economy. Columbia has also been named a top midsized market for relocating families in the nation.

South Carolina's state government consists of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. The governor is elected for a four-year term and may serve two consecutive terms. He heads the Executive branch (some officers of which are elected). The bicameral South Carolina General Assembly consists of the 46-member Senate and the 124-member House of Representatives. The two bodies meet in the South Carolina State House. The Judicial Branch consists of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Circuit Court, Family Court, and other divisions.

Judicial branch

The Family Court deals with all matters of domestic and family relationships, as well as generally maintaining exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving minors under the age of seventeen, excepting traffic and game law violations. Some criminal charges may come under Circuit Court jurisdiction.

The Circuit Court is the general jurisdiction court for South Carolina. It comprises the Civil Court, the Court of Common Pleas, and the Court of General Sessions, which is the criminal court. The court maintains limited appellate jurisdiction over the Probate Court, Magistrate's Court, Municipal Court, and the Administrative Law Judge Division. The state has sixteen judicial circuits, each with at least one resident circuit judge.

The Court of Appeals handles Circuit Court and Family Court appeals, excepting appeals that are within the seven classes of exclusive Supreme Court jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals is selected by the General Assembly for staggered, six-year terms. The court comprises a chief judge, and eight associate judges, and may hear cases as the whole court, or as three panels with three judges each. The court may preside in any county.

The Supreme Court is South Carolina's highest court. The Chief Justice and four Associate Justices are elected to ten year terms by the General Assembly. Terms are staggered, and there are no limits on the number of terms a justice may serve, but there is a mandatory retirement age of 72. The overwhelming majority of vacancies on the Court occur when Justices reach this age, not through the refusal of the General Assembly to elect a sitting Justice to another term.

Federal politics

Like the Southern States, South Carolina consistently voted for the Democratic Party (United States) in the late nineteenth Century and half of the twentieth century as a Solid South. Republicans became competitive in the 1960 Presidential Election when Richard Nixon narrowly lost the state to John F. Kennedy by just two percentage points. In 1964, Barry Goldwater became the first Republican to win the state for nearly 90 years. Since then, South Carolina has voted for a Republican in every presidential election, except in 1976 when Jimmy Carter, a Southerner, was the last Democrat to win the state. George W. Bush won the state with 58 percent of the statewide vote in 2004 over Senator John Kerry.


Institutions of Higher Education

(Discussed According to Foundation Date)

South Carolina has a long and proud tradition of higher education that is intertwined with its rich and complex history. For a relatively small state, South Carolina hosts a disproportionately large and diverse cohort of institutions of higher education, from large state-funded research universities to small colleges that cultivate a liberal arts, religious or military tradition.

In addition to its status as the oldest college or university in South Carolina, founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, the College of Charleston (C of C) is the 13th oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first municipal college in the country. Its founders include three signers of the United States Declaration of Independence and three signers of the United States Constitution. The College's historic campus, which is listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places, forms an integral part of Charleston's colonial-era urban center. According to the Princeton Review, College of Charleston is one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education and U.S. News and World Report regularly ranks it among the best masters level universities in the South. The College presently enrolls approximately 10,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students.

The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational, research university located in Columbia. In 1957, the University expanded its reach through the University of South Carolina System and rapidly became the state's preeminent and most popular institution of higher education, a status it retains to this day.

Furman University is a private, coeducational, non-sectarian, liberal arts university in Greenville, South Carolina. Founded in 1826, Furman enrolls approximately 2,600 undergraduate and 500 graduate students. Furman is the oldest, largest and one of the most selective private institutions in South Carolina.

The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston, South Carolina. Founded in 1842, the college is best known for its undergraduate Corps of Cadets military program for men and women, which combines academics, physical challenges and military discipline. The Citadel enrolls almost 2,000 undergraduate cadets in its residential military program and 1,200 civilian students in the evening programs.

Presbyterian College is a private liberal arts college in Clinton, South Carolina. Founded in 1860 Presbyterian College (PC) is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, and enrolls around 1300 undergraduate students.

Winthrop University started as the Winthrop Training School for girls in 1886, to fill the need for teacher training as the state struggled to expand the public school system in the aftermath of the Civil War. Today, nearly 6,500 coed students take courses in arts and sciences, education, business administration and visual and performing arts.

Founded as the Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina in 1889, Clemson University is now a public, coeducational, land-grant research university located in Clemson, South Carolina. The University currently enrolls more than 17,000 students from all 50 states and from more than 70 countries.

Secondary education

Until the late nineteenth century, well-to-do South Carolinians generally hired tutors to instruct their children or sent them to private academies. Still wealthier residents often sent their children abroad to be educated. During the same period, ministers, missionaries, and traveling schoolmasters played major roles in the spread of education among the less privileged classes, especially in rural areas. In 1710 and 1712 the colonial assembly passed laws providing for the education of a few needy pupils at public expense. Educational aid for the poor was also provided by a number of charitable groups. South Carolina’s first school for blacks was opened in 1740. Laws providing for an extensive program of public education were passed in 1811, but the schools that were subsequently established received inadequate support and were attended only by the needy. Attempts at public education ceased during the Civil War.

In 1868 the constitution drawn up by the state’s Reconstruction government provided for an excellent educational system. Little was done to put the system into effect until 1876. The constitution of 1895 provided more generous financial support but also legalized separate education for whites and blacks, a system already practiced. Thereafter schools gradually improved, but the bulk of the funds were spent on the white schools.

Advances made in the 20th century include direct state financing and supervision of local schools; consolidation of rural school districts; and programs to abolish illiteracy and educate adults. Compulsory school attendance was first introduced in 1937. It was abolished in 1955 to avert the prospect of racial integration in the schools but was reinstituted in 1967. Despite the 1954 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional, and even though the Summerton School District (now known as the Clarendon County School District) was one of the systems incorporated into the Supreme Court decision, South Carolina did not begin to desegregate its schools until 1963.[20]

According to a survey of recent studies conducted by the University of South Carolina's Institute for Public Service and Policy Research South Carolina ranks at or near the bottom of the United States in terms of secondary school graduation rates.[21]A similar story plays out with SAT scores (985 average for South Carolina vs. 1,021 for the nation). The flip side of that statistic is that South Carolina's average SAT score has risen 38 points in the past five years - the largest improvement in the nation.

Sports in South Carolina

  • South Carolina has no major professional franchise in any sport. The NFL's Carolina Panthers (based in Charlotte, North Carolina) represents both Carolinas and played their first season in Clemson, South Carolina, and the team's training camp takes place every year at Wofford College in Spartanburg. College sports in particular are very big in South Carolina. Clemson University's Tigers and the University of South Carolina's Gamecocks regularly draw more than 80,000 spectators at the schools' home football games. South Carolina does have several minor league professional teams that play baseball, and hockey.
  • NASCAR racing was born in the South, and South Carolina has in the past hosted some very important NASCAR races, mainly at the Darlington Raceway. Darlington Raceway still has one NASCAR race weekend, usually Mother's Day weekend.
  • South Carolina is known as a golfing paradise. Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand has more than a hundred golf courses, more public golf courses per capita than any other place in the country.[22] Hilton Head & Kiawah Island have several golf courses and host professional events every year. The upstate of South Carolina also has private courses including the Cliff's courses and Cross Creek Plantation (the Cliff's courses host the annual BMW PRO/AM that brings many celebrities and professionals to South Carolina. Cross Creek Plantation located in Seneca, also private, hosted a PGA Qualifier in the 1990's). In 2007, "The Ocean Course" On Kiawah Island was ranked #1 in Golf Digest Magazine's "America's 50 Toughest Golf Courses"[23] and #38 on their "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses".[24]
  • Watersports are also a popular activity in South Carolina. With a large coast line, South Carolina has many different beach activities such as surfing, boogie boarding, deep sea fishing, and shrimping. The Pee Dee region of the state offers exceptional fishing. Some of the largest catfish ever caught were caught in the Santee Lakes. The Upstate of South Carolina and The Midlands region also offers water-based recreation.
  • While there are no race tracks with betting in South Carolina there is significant horse training activity, particularly in Aiken and Camden, which hold steeplechase races.

Miscellaneous topics

Palmetto State
State Capital: Columbia
State Mottos: Dum spiro spero
(While I breathe, I hope)
and Animis opibusque parati
(Ready in soul and resource)
State Songs: "Carolina" and
"South Carolina On My Mind"
State Tree: Sabal palmetto
State Flower: Yellow Jessamine
State Bird: Carolina Wren
State Wild Game Bird: Wild Turkey
State Dog: Boykin Spaniel
State Animal: White-tailed Deer
State Reptile: Loggerhead Sea Turtle
State Amphibian: Spotted Salamander
State Fish: Striped Bass
State Insect: Carolina Mantid
State Butterfly: Eastern tiger swallowtail
State Fruit: Peach[25]
State Beverage: Milk[26]
State Hospitality
State Gemstone: Amethyst
State Stone: Blue Granite
State Popular Music: Beach Music
State Dance: Shag
State Snack: Boiled peanuts[28]
State Craft: Sweetgrass Basket weaving

Notable residents

Musicians hailing from South Carolina:

  • Bill Anderson, born in Columbia; an American country music singer and songwriter
  • James Brown (born in Barnwell, The "Godfather of Soul," legendary singer and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Chubby Checker, singer, born Ernest Evans in Spring Gulley.
  • Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), considered by some to be the greatest jazz trumpeter of all time, was born in Cheraw.
  • Eartha Kitt (1927- ), actress and singer, one of only a handful of performers to be nominated twice for both a Tony Award and Grammy Award, as well as for an Emmy Award. She hails from North, South Carolina.

Famous African-Americans:

  • Mary McLeod Bethune (1875–1955), American educator, b. Mayesville, S.C. founder of Bethune-Cookman College, the National Council of Negro Women (1935) and was director (1936–44) of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. In addition, she served as special adviser on minority affairs to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
  • Althea Gibson (1927-2003), the first black female player to win the Wimbledon singles tennis title, was born in Silver.
  • Charlotta Bass (born in Sumter), a newspaper publisher in Los Angeles, California, and the first African-American woman on a Presidential campaign ticket in 1952
  • Dr. Ronald McNair (1950 – 1986), born in Lake City; one of the seven astronauts to die when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after take-off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986.
  • Jesse Jackson, famous political and social figure, originally from Greenville.
  • Marian Wright Edelman (from Bennettsville), the founder and President of the Children's Defense Fund and the first Black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar.
  • Larry Doby, only the second African-American baseball player to play in the Major Leagues, born in Camden.

Public Figures:

  • Ben Bernanke (1953—), Dillon. On October 24, 2005, President George W. Bush nominated Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
  • Bernard Baruch, (1870–1965), U.S. financier and government adviser, b. Camden. He became wealthy through stockmarket speculation before he was 30. In World War I he advised on national defense and was (1918–19) chairman of the War Industries Board; he helped frame the economic provisions of the Versailles Treaty (1919). In World War II he became (1942) special adviser to James F. Byrnes and wrote the report (1943) on postwar conversion.
  • Strom Thurmond (1902 – 2003), born in Edgefield in 1902. South Carolina governor from 1947 – 1951, and in 1954 became the first and only United States Senator elected by a write-in vote. In 1997, Senator Thurmond became the oldest and longest serving member of the U.S. Senate. In January 2003, at age 100, Thurmond retired from public service after his eighth term. He returned to his hometown where he died June 26, 2003.
  • James F. Byrnes (May 2, 1879 – April 9, 1972), born in Charleston, Secretary of State under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, also served as Governor of South Carolina and as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Time Magazine's Person of the Year 1947.
  • Burnet Maybank, Prestigious and prominent politician and businessman; Charleston alderman 1927-31, mayor 1931-38, governor 1939-1941, and US senator 1941-54; never lost an election, made his money in cotton exporting; at one point was named one of the 20 most influential men in America by Fortune Magazine.
  • William Westmoreland—(born Spartanburg County, March 26, 1914 – July 18, 2005) was at one point commander of all United States ground forces in Vietnam and was also Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
  • John C. Calhoun (1782 – 1850), born near Abbeville, a statesman and political philosopher. From 1811 until his death, Calhoun served in the federal government successively as congressman, secretary of war, vice president, senator, secretary of state and again as senator.
  • Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), President of the United States; born near Lancaster but emigrated to Tennessee as an adult. He was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans and 7th President, from 1829 to 1837.
  • Francis Marion (1732-1795), also known as the "Swamp Fox," was a Brigadier General in the American Revolutionary War. The main character in the movie The Patriot is based largely on his exploits. Marion was born in Georgetown.


  • Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central since 2005; previously a correspondent for Comedy Central's The Daily Show. A native of Charleston, he attended Porter Gaud School.
  • Leeza Gibbons of Entertainment Tonight and other Hollywood news shows grew up in Irmo, a suburb of Columbia.
  • Chris Rock (born February 7, 1965), an American stand-up comedian and actor born in Andrews.
  • Vanna White, "Wheel of Fortune" game show hostess since 1982, hails from North Myrtle Beach


  • Pat Conroy, novelist, grew up in Beaufort, attended The Citadel in Charleston. He taught school in Beaufort and on remote Daufuskie Island, near Hilton Head. All his novels have been set in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
  • James Oliver Rigney, Jr. (October 17, 1948 - September 16, 2007)), best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series under the pen name Robert Jordan. Rigney was born in Charleston and holds an undergraduate degree in physics from The Citadel


  • 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson (1887 – 1951). Considered to be one of the most outstanding hitters in the history of baseball, his career .356 batting average is the third highest in history, after Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby. He was born in Greenville.
  • Alex English, basketball player, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • Joe Frazier, 1964 Olympic heavyweight boxing champion and the world heavyweight champ 1970-73; fought Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title three times. Frazier was born in Beaufort on January 12, 1944.


  • David Gaillard, engineer of the central portion of the Panama Canal, after which the main cut is named; born in Manning.
  • Kerry Mullis, born in Lenoir, North Carolina, and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina; received Nobel Prize for DNA amplification research.
  • Charles Townes (1915-), physicist and astronomer from Greenville; winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Physics for his contributions to the invention of the laser and maser. He is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of California-Berkeley.
  • John B. Watson psychologist, father of the Behaviorism movement.


  • Jasper Johns, a 20th century painter, was raised (albeit born in a Georgia hospital) in Allendale.
  • Blue Sky (1938-), internationally-recognized painter and sculptor, born in Columbia and has lived there for the majority of his life.

South Carolina singularities

  • Strokes: South Carolina has the highest rate of stroke deaths in the nation.[29]
  • Black Water River: With the Edisto River, South Carolina has the longest completely undammed / unleveed blackwater river in North America.[30]
  • Outdoor Sculpture: South Carolina is home to the world's largest collection of outdoor sculpture located at Brookgreen Gardens.[31]
  • Landscaped Gardens: South Carolina is home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States, at Middleton Place near Charleston.[32]
  • Public Museum: The first public museum in the Americas was the Charleston Museum, founded in 1773.[33]
  • Opera: The first opera performed in the Americas was performed in Charleston on February 18, 1735.[34]


  1. Error on call to template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified. United States Census Bureau (2000).
  2. Error on call to template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified (CSV). 2011 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division (December 2011).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Elevations and Distances in the United States. United States Geological Survey (2001). Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  4. Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  5. NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  6. South Carolina - History Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  7. A Brief History of South Carolina Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  8. W.E.B. Du Bois. Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880. (New York: [1935], Free Press edition, 1998), 598
  9. South Carolina Encarta.msn. Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  10. South Carolina - History Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  11. Population and Population Centers by State: 2000.
  12. Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  13. The Black Belt South: Germany in the World Economy Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  14. South Carolina's Ports Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  15. The 'American Autobahn' Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  16. Japan in South Carolina Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  17. South Carolina Ports Post Record Fiscal Year Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  18. Video Poker Outlawed In South Carolina Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  19. Sales and Use Tax Rates by County Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  20. South Carolina Encarta.msn. Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  21. Richard Young. "The High School Crisis in the United States and South Carolina: The Problems Related to Dropouts and Recommended Solutions." University of South Carolina College Arts and Sciences’ Institute for Public Service and Policy Research, May 2005, [1]. Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  22. Myrtle Beach Golf. Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  23. - America's 50 Toughest Golf Courses Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  24. - America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  25. South Carolina, State of (1984), S.C. Code of Laws, SECTION 1-1-680. Official State fruit.  Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  26. South Carolina, State of (1984), S.C. Code of Laws, SECTION 1-1-690. Official State beverage.  Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  27. South Carolina, State of (1995), S.C. Code of Laws, SECTION 1-1-692. Official State hospitality beverage.  Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  28. South Carolina, State of (2006), S.C. Code of Laws, SECTION 1-1-682. Official state snack food.  Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  29. SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  30. Canoe South Carolina Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  31. Brookgreen Gardens Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  32. Middleton Place Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  33. Charleston Museum Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  34. Historical Information Retrieved November 3, 2007.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

Textbooks and surveys

  • Bass, Jack. Porgy Comes Home: South Carolina After 300 Years. Sandlapper, 1970. OCLC 724061
  • Edgar, Walter. South Carolina: A History. University of South Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN 1570032556
  • Edgar, Walter, ed. The South Carolina Encyclopedia. University of South Carolina Press, 2006. ISBN 1570035982
  • Rogers, George C., Jr. and C. James Taylor. A South Carolina Chronology, 1497-1992, 2nd Ed. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC, 1994. ISBN 0872499715
  • Wallace, David Duncan. South Carolina: A Short History, 1520-1948. (1951) ISBN 0872490793
  • WPA. South Carolina: A Guide to the Palmetto State. (1941) ASIN B000HM05WE
  • Wright, Louis B. South Carolina: A Bicentennial History (1977) ISBN 0393055604

Scholarly secondary studies

  • Bass, Jack, and Marilyn W. Thompson. Ol' Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond. Longstreet Press, 1998. ISBN 1563525232
  • Busick, Sean R. A Sober Desire for History: William Gilmore Simms as Historian. 2005. ISBN 1570035652.
  • Clarke, Erskine. Our Southern Zion: A History of Calvinism in the South Carolina Low Country, 1690-1990. 1996. ISBN 0585200394
  • Channing, Steven. Crisis of Fear: Secession in South Carolina. New York: W.W. Norton, 1974. ISBN 0393007308
  • Cohodas, Nadine. Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern Change. New York: Simon & Schuster, [1993] 1995. ISBN 0865544468
  • Coit, Margaret L. John C. Calhoun: American Portrait. 1950.
  • Crane, Verner W. The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732. 1956.
  • Ford Jr., Lacy K. Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860. Oxford University Press, 1991. ISBN 0195069617
  • Hindus, Michael S. Prison and Plantation: Crime, Justice, and Authority in Massachusetts and South Carolina, 1767-1878. (Studies in Legal History) University of North Carolina Press, 1980. ISBN 0807814172
  • Johnson Jr., George Lloyd. The Frontier in the Colonial South: South Carolina Backcountry, 1736-1800. Greenwood Press, 1997. ISBN 0313301794
  • Jordan, Jr., Frank E. The Primary State - A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962. Columbia, SC: 1967
  • Keyserling, Harriet. Against the Tide: One Woman's Political Struggle, new ed. University of South Carolina Press, 2004. ISBN 1570035415
  • Kantrowitz, Stephen. Ben Tillman & the Reconstruction of White Supremacy. University of North Carolina Press, 2000. ISBN 0807848395
  • Lau, Peter F. Democracy Rising: South Carolina And the Fight for Black Equality Since 1865. University Press of Kentucky, 2006. ISBN 0813123933
  • Peirce, Neal R. The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States. Norton, 1974. ISBN 0393054969
  • Rogers, George C. Evolution of a Federalist: William Loughton Smith of Charleston (1758-1812). 1962.
  • Schultz Harold S. Nationalism and Sectionalism in South Carolina, 1852-1860. 1950.
  • Simon, Bryant. A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948. University of North Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN 0807847046
  • Simkins, Francis Butler. The Tillman Movement in South Carolina. (1926)
  • Simkins, Francis Butler. Pitchfork Ben Tillman: South Carolinian. (1944)
  • Simkins, Francis Butler, and Robert Hilliard Woody. South Carolina during Reconstruction. (1932).
  • Sinha, Manisha. The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina. University of North Carolina Press, 2000. ISBN 0807848840
  • Smith, Warren B. White Servitude in Colonial South Carolina. (1961)
  • Tullos, Allen Habits of Industry: White Culture and the Transformation of the Carolina Piedmont. Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1989. ISBN 0807842478
  • Williamson Joel R. After Slavery: The Negro in South Carolina during Reconstruction, 1861-1877. 1965.
  • Wood, Peter H. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 Through the Stono Rebellion. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996. ISBN 0393314820

Local studies

  • Bass, Jack and Jack Nelson. The Orangeburg Massacre. Mercer University Press, [1970] 1999. ISBN 0865545529
  • Burton, Orville Vernon. In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina. Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1987. ISBN 0807841838 social history
  • Carlton, David L. Mill and Town in South Carolina, 1880-1920. (1982)
  • Clarke, Erskine. Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic. Yale University Press, 2007. ISBN 030012256X
  • Danielson, Michael N. Profits and Politics in Paradise: The Development of Hilton Head Island. University of South Carolina Press, 1995. ISBN 1570030391
  • Doyle, Don H. New Men, New Cities, New South: Atlanta, Nashville, Charleston, Mobile, 1860-1910. 1990.
  • Huff, Jr., Archie Vernon. Greenville: The History of the City and County in the South Carolina Piedmont. University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
  • Moore, John Hammond. Columbia and Richland County: A South Carolina Community, 1740-1990. University of South Carolina Press, 1993.
  • Moredock, Will. Banana Republic: A Year in the Heart of Myrtle Beach. Frontline Press, 2003.
  • Pease, William H. and Jane H. Pease. The Web of Progress: Private Values and Public Styles in Boston and Charleston, 1828-1843. 1985.
  • Robertson, Ben. Red Hills and Cotton. USC Press (reprint), 1991.
  • Rose, Willie Lee. Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment. (1964)

Political science

  • Carter, Luther F. and David Mann, eds. Government in the Palmetto State: Toward the 21st century. University of South Carolina, 1993. ISBN 0917069013
  • Graham, Cole Blease and William V. Moore. South Carolina Politics and Government. Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1994. ISBN 0803270437
  • Tyer, Charlie, ed. South Carolina Government: An Introduction.. USC Institute for Public Affairs, 2002. ISBN 0917069129

Primary documents

  • Salley, Alexander S., ed. Narratives of Early Carolina, 1650-1708. [1911] Facsimile reprint of 1911 ed. Adamant Media Corporation, 2001. ISBN 1402195907
  • Woodmason Charles. The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution, Edited by Richard J. Hooker. (1953) University of North Carolina Press, 1969, a missionary reports ISBN 0807840351

External links

All links retrieved February 4, 2023.

Flag of South Carolina
State of South Carolina
Columbia (capital)
Regions Atlantic Coastal Plain |

Blue Ridge Mountains | Grand Strand | Lake Murray Country | The Lowcountry | Metrolina | The Midlands | Olde English District | Old 96 District | Pee Dee | Piedmont | Sandhills | Sea Islands | The Upstate

Larger Cities Charleston |

Columbia | Florence | Greenville | Myrtle Beach | Mount Pleasant | North Charleston | Rock Hill | Spartanburg | Sumter |

Smaller Cities

Camden |

Cayce | Easley | Hilton Head Island | Isle of Palms | Forest Acres | Gaffney | Lexington | Mauldin | North Augusta | North Myrtle Beach | Orangeburg | Simpsonville | Summerville | West Columbia | York

Towns Batesburg-Leesville |

Fort Mill | Fountain Inn | Greer | Irmo | Moncks Corner | Mount Pleasant | Newberry |

CDPs Berea |

Carolina Forest | Dentsville | Gantt | Ladson | Parker | Red Hill | Saint Andrews | Seven Oaks | Socastee | Taylors | Wade Hampton

Counties Abbeville |

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