South Carolina II
(Galley: 1. 52'6"; b. 15'; dph. 5'8; cpl. 28; a. 1 24
pdr., 5 or 6 3-par. brass how.)
The second South Carolina was built for the Navy by Paul Prichard at Charleston, S.C., in 1799, apparently under the name Protector. Constructed and equipped for the Navy Department, South Carolina operated for the War Department as a coastal patrol vessel under command, in turn, of Capt. Samuel Haywood and Capt. George Nichols. South Carolina was sold at Charleston on 1 February 1802.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County,  and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area.  The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Charleston had an estimated population of 137,566 as of latest U.S. Census estimate in 2019.  The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 802,122 residents as of July 1, 2019, the third-largest in the state and the 74th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.
Charleston was founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II, at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River (now Charles Towne Landing) but relocated in 1680 to its present site, which became the fifth-largest city in North America within ten years. It remained unincorporated throughout the colonial period its government was handled directly by a colonial legislature and a governor sent by Parliament. Election districts were organized according to Anglican parishes, and some social services were managed by Anglican wardens and vestries. Charleston adopted its present spelling with its incorporation as a city in 1783. Population growth in the interior of South Carolina influenced the removal of the state government to Columbia in 1788, but Charleston remained among the ten largest cities in the United States through the 1840 census. 
Charleston's significance in American history is tied to its role as a major slave trading port. Charleston slave traders like Joseph Wragg were the first to break through the monopoly of the Royal African Company and pioneered the large-scale slave trade of the 18th century almost one half of slaves imported to America arrived in Charleston.  In 2018, the city formally apologized for its role in the American Slave trade after CNN noted that slavery "riddles the history" of Charleston. 
Known for its strong tourism industry, in 2016 Travel + Leisure Magazine ranked Charleston as the best city in the world. 
Sugar and Rise
Founded as a British colony in 1670, Charleston soon became a maritime trading partner and cultural heir of the hugely profitable British West Indian sugar colonies.
During the 1620s, English colonialists built rough new settlements in the Caribbean islands, including Barbados, St. Christopher, and Nevis. At first, the English adventurers barely scratched out a living. But in the 1640s, sugar cane was introduced into Barbados, and sugar quickly became the island’s most important export. European consumers lapped up the sweetener and its byproducts rum and molasses. Within 20 years, a small Barbadian elite gained control of the most productive land, becoming spectacularly wealthy.
The Barbadians were the first English colonialists to exploit African slaves on a massive, brutal scale to produce a cash crop for export. Within a generation, other British West Indian colonies followed the Barbadian economic blueprint, as did the next important new settlement on the North American continent: Charles Town.
By the middle of the seventeenth century, western European monarchs were sponsoring colonies in North America. Monarchs offered land grants to developers who would finance settlements, exploit natural resources, and gain profits through sea trading.
Breeze Way. Trade winds helped Charleston become rich in the eighteenth century. Sailors knew that prevailing winds blow in a circular, clock-wise direction around the North Atlantic. Ships traveling from England to North America took the southerly route through the West Indies to Charleston. Even ships headed for New York or Boston usually stopped in Charleston to pick up food, supplies, or load and unload cargo.
In 1665, King Charles II of England granted a charter to the Absolute and True Lords Proprietors for control of the new colony of Carolina. The Lords Proprietors—eight well-connected Englishmen—invested in Carolina’s first permanent settlement christened Albermarle Point, soon renamed Charles Town. Most new immigrants were poor people from England and Barbados. Within a year wealthy Barbadian sugar planters and their slaves also arrived in Charles Town to escape the constant threat of slave revolt, hurricanes, and disease epidemics in the Caribbean.
Carolina settlers searched for commodities to sell to Europe and the West Indies, and the new port was the center of the colony’s economy. Colonialists bartered with Indians, offering trinkets, cloth, and hatchets for deerskins and beaver skins. Carolina exported animal pelts to furriers and hatmakers throughout Europe. Settlers and their slaves harvested naval stores from coastal forests—turpentine, pitch, lumber, tar, and staves—and raised cattle in the longleaf woods.
By the mid-1670s, settlers traded meat, lumber, and Indian slaves to the West Indies for black slaves, rum, sugar, and trinkets. Colonialists shipped lucrative naval stores to England for the growing ship building industry. In return, the new colony received English manufactured goods. In 1683, a French Huguenot settler remarked that “the port is never without ships and the country is becoming a great traffic center.”
South Carolina’s maritime traders found dramatic success in the early eighteenth century after lowcountry settlers discovered their most profitable cash crop: rice.
The demand for South Carolina rice was greatest in northern Europe. Most Americans were not rice consumers, so “Carolina Gold” rice was produced for overseas markets. By the 1720s, more than half of the value of all of the colony’s exports came from the rice trade. A decade later, 500 deep-sea vessels a year sailed into Charleston’s port to trade. In 1739, eight privately owned wharves had been built from Bay Street into the Cooper River to serve the shipping industry.
Georgetown, founded in 1730, officially became a port the following year, though it remained a tiny village until after the Revolution. The Beaufort-Port Royal area, though, grew rapidly just before the Revolution. But Charleston always dominated the coast politically and economically.
Bygone Days. This engraving provides a view of the Cooper River waterfront of the late 1730s, when the lowcountry’s maritime trade surged. Photo courtesy of Charleston Museum.
Lowcountry South Carolina was not a complete maritime society like coastal Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Most South Carolinians looked inland, not to sea. “In the Northeast, if you lived near the coast, your livelihood was connected to the water,” says Charlie Sneed, executive director of the S.C. Maritime Heritage Foundation. “In our part of the country, people were more likely to make their living in farming and plantations.”
Charleston was blessed with an excellent harbor, yet South Carolinians built and invested in few seagoing vessels. Instead, they depended on ships owned by Londoners or Bostonians. New Englanders increasingly dominated American shipbuilding and maritime investing. Bostonians bought vessel shares in the way that modern investors buy corporate stock shares.
P.C. Coker, an independent scholar of local maritime history, has described the thinking of a typical colonial Carolina merchant who had 1,200 pounds to invest in the 1730s. With that sum, a merchant could build and outfit a 200-ton seagoing vessel, but he would risk his investment with storms, wars, fires, groundings, and pirates. Or he could pour his money into a dozen slaves and a 500-acre plantation, where he could grow rice and indigo, which fetched high prices. The choice was simple: purchase slaves and a plantation and charter someone else’s ship to send produce to Europe.
Digitized in 2017, these 18 books are a combination of rare, unique and invaluable, and were digitized in collaboration with the UofSC Press. Some of the titles you’ll see are books on South Carolina and its citizens, and others are more far-ranging in their geographical coverage. The types of bound volumes you’ll find include memoirs, biographical sketches, historical accounts, and veteran’s experiences.
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South Carolina Room at CCPL
By the end of World War II, 425,000 German, Italian, and Japanese prisoners of war (POWs) were being held in the United States under the supervision of the Provost Marshal General’s office. The Geneva Convention and War Department directives had established policies for treatment to which United States’ officials observed strict adherence in hopes that American POWs overseas would be treated as humanely.
Until the spring of 1943, the US held only a few thousand Axis POWS, but this changed when the Allies successfully resolved the North African campaign in May, 1943. By September, 115,000 German and Italian POWs were sent to the United States including Rommel’s Afrika Korps, known as the most disciplined soldiers and ardent Nazis.
For more details about German POWs in SC, we recommend The German POWs in South Carolina by Deann Bice Segal.
During WWII, South Carolina maintained twenty camps in seventeen counties, housing between 8-11,000 German (and to a lesser extent, Italian) prisoners of war. Most lived in small camps of about 300 men and cut pulpwood or worked on farms.
This was not the first time South Carolina had housed POWs. During WWI, small contingents of seamen and enemy aliens were confined at Camp Sevier (Greenville), Camp Wadsworth (Spartanburg), and Camp Jackson (Columbia).
American farmers were hit by a labor shortage during WWII. New war industry jobs paid more than farmers could afford to offer, and many young men were away fighting. In South Carolina, POW labor was used to harvest labor-intensive cash crops such as peanuts, cotton, and peaches.
Working conditions were generally good, but not necessarily easy. Farm labor was better than working in the timber industry, as the timber industry was more physically demanding and involved achieving strict production quotas. Regulations stated that employers were to maintain minimum contact with the POWs, but prisoners’ productivity was rewarded with afternoon breaks and substantial meals.
Recreation helped to combat boredom. Soccer fields, gardens, and reading rooms were created by prisoners. Plays, art exhibits and variety shows were put on and some camps constructed theaters for prisoner productions and movies. Public reaction evolved from curiosity about the prisoners to resentment and accusations of “coddling” the prisoners. After the war, it was revealed that providing privileges to the POWS was, in part, an attempt to re-educate and democratize the prisoners in order to combat rising Nazism in the camps, and also, postwar Germany.
West Ashley Camp Controversy
A chimney built by German prisoners of war during World War II has become a thorn in the side for one West Ashley Jewish family. The Pearlstine’s, who have deep roots in Charleston, bought the empty lot 20 years ago as it adjoins their land. Mary Ann Pearlstine Aberman and some of her relatives currently own the property on Colony Drive off Highway 61.
The fireplace, chimney, and a concrete slab are all that remains of a West Ashley POW camp clubhouse built by prisoners. The rest of the camp was torn down after the war, but for a time the clubhouse was used for supper clubs and Boy Scout meetings.
The Abermans wanted the chimney removed when they discovered its origin and received a permit for demolition from the county. When preservationists wanted to save the chimney, the Abermans proposed to give it to the group – and even chip in $1,000 to pay moving costs. The cost to move the chimney proved prohibitive, but by then the property was annexed into the city and the demolition permit void.
City planning officials heard about the prison camp relic and proposed a “landmark overlay zone” to protect the chimney. If City Council approves the landmark designation, the Pearlstines will have to preserve the chimney unless granted special permission to demolish it.
South Carolina II - History
Interactive exhibits on the extraordinary history of South Carolina's people, places, and movements.
The SCHS collection includes manuscripts, letters, journals, maps, drawings, and photographs that span the history of the state.
Annual memberships to the SCHS provide access to our collections, support our valuable work and enhance your experience of history.
Attend upcoming events and read about SCHS announcements, staff and exhibits in the press.
Our award-winning magazines include general interest and scholarly articles, while our blog has the latest from the SCHS team.
Immerse yourself in the history of South Carolina.
An architectural treasure in its own right, the South Carolina Historical Society Museum is housed in a National Historic Landmark building and features interactive exhibits on the people, places, and movements that shaped the state and nation.
Plan Your Visit
100 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC 29401
Tuesday - Saturday
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
205 Calhoun St.
Charleston, SC 29401
Monday - Friday
By Appointment Only
Lesson Plan: Overview
Grade Level: 8th
Standard 8-7: The student will demonstrate an understanding of South Carolina&rsquos economic revitalization during World War II and the latter twentieth century.
8-7.5 Explain the economic impact of twentieth century events on South Carolina, including the opening and closing of military bases, the development of industries, the influx of new citizens, and the expansion of port facilities. (E, H, P, G)
A. Distinguish between past, present, and future time.
E. Explain change and continuity over time.
F. Ask geographic questions: Where is it located? Why is it there? What is significant about its location? How is its location related to that of other people, places, and environments?
K. Use texts, photographs, and documents to observe and interpret social studies trends and relationships.
1. Why were these military bases important to South Carolina?
2. What was the economic impact of each base to the communities they were built in and to the state?
Historical Background Notes
The many military installations across South Carolina account for a substantial segment of the overall South Carolina economy. Historically since 1917 these bases have provided jobs and boosted the economies of the communities around them. Purchasing goods and services, providing income to civilian and military personnel. In addition, military-related visitors and military retirees are attracted to these bases.
Today, a total of $7.3 billion in sales accrues annually to South Carolina businesses because of the military&rsquos overall presence in the state (Schunk, 2007, 14). Across South Carolina, a total of nearly 142,000 jobs are directly or indirectly supported by the presence of the military. This job total represents nearly 8 percent of total jobs. The military presence supports about $5.1 billion annually in personal income for South Carolinians. Again, this income flows throughout the economy (Schunk, 2007, 1). Overall, the military&rsquos presence in South Carolina provides a substantial contribution to the state&rsquos economy and especially to the local communities. The following paragraphs contain a short history of each base introduced to the class.
Fort Jackson is located in Columbia, South Carolina. The construction of the base began in June of 1917 and is named in honor of Andrew Jackson, Major General of the Army and seventh President of the United States. Overnight, Camp Jackson had grown from a sandy-hill forested area to a huge military base. Over 8,000 draftees arrived and trained at the new military base to prepare themselves for World War I. In 1939, the demands of war arrived again with the advent of World War II. Over half a million soldiers trained here for combat. Fort Jackson continues today to be the largest training center for soldiers. The base is experiencing an upsurge of growth and continues to offer support for thousands of military retirees and their families.
Parris Island Marine Corps Recruiting Depot and Air Station
United States Marines were first stationed on Parris Island in 1891. Located near Beaufort, South Carolina. Officially designated on November 1, 1945, Parris Island is an official Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot and continues in that capacity today. Nineteen thousand recruits are trained here each year. Nearby is the Parris Island Marine Corps Air Station.
Construction of Shaw Air Force Base began on June 27, 1941. The base is named in honor of 1st Lt. Ervin David Shaw, One of the first Americans to fly combat missions during World War I. Shaw AFB is home to the Air Force&rsquos largest combat F-16 wing. Today, Shaw serves as home to Headquarters Ninth Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces.
Charleston Air Force Base
Charleston Air Force Base began in 1931 and has continued to play a vital role in the defense of the United States. Today, the base is home to the 437th Airlift Wing. Its mission is to support units by providing heavy airlift capabilities. Airlifting of troops, military equipment, cargo and aeromedical airlift around the world. The base is home to 53 C-17 Globemaster aircraft. Charleston AFB has 7,601 active duty and reserves and continues to have a huge economic impact in South Carolina.
Myrtle Beach Air Force Base
Established in 1940 as a World War II training facility and used for coastal patrols. The base was used during the Cold War, Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War. The base was closed in 1993 and is currently being redeveloped for civilian uses.
Established in 1901, Charleston Naval Base is on the Cooper River in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina. The base was an important repair, overhaul and maintenance facility during World War I to the Persian Gulf War. Because the Cold War ended, the base was closed in April of 1996 because of military budget cuts. The closure resulted in the loss of 8,722 military and 6,272 civilian jobs. Today, most of the base is being redeveloped for civilian purposes.
Charleston Navy Yard Historic District, Charleston County (North Charleston). National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.
Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Home Page. Accessed 2007 (now defunct).
&ldquoNational Archives Photograph Analysis Worksheet.&rdquo Retrieved March 15, 2007, from Education Staff, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
This Lesson asks the students to analyze different websites that contain information about military bases in South Carolina. The students will seek to answer, &ldquoWhat are the historical and economic impacts of military bases in South Carolina.&rdquo This lesson will take one class period of approximately 72 minutes. The students will research the following military bases:
1. The students will meet in the library to individually access the Internet from a computer. The students will be given the websites needed to start their inquiry.
2. Next, the teacher will give the students a Five W&rsquos and H Chart. For each military website, the students are to answer the following:
a. What is the name of the military base?
b. Who is in the picture(s)?
c. Why did it happen? (Why was the base built in the first place)?
d. When did it happen? (Why did the base open and or close)?
e. Where did it happen? (City, Town, or location in SC)?
f. How did it happen? (How was it built? Who started the idea of the base)?
g. Summary (Two paragraphs in length).
3. Next, the students will have to navigate the Fort Jackson website. Go to the History section. In this section are numerous primary photographs of soldiers, buildings, equipment, military uniforms, weapons and many more items. In addition, the teacher will give students copies of primary photographs (see First Barracks, First Barracks, First Recruits, and Ft. Jackson Field Hospital) of Fort Jackson from 1917 to the 1990&rsquos. Each student will have available a Photograph Analysis Worksheet.
4. Using the Photograph Analysis Worksheet, the students will do the following:
A. Study the Photograph for 2 minutes. Form an overall impression of the photograph and then examine individual items.B. Use the chart on the worksheet to list people, objects and activities in the photograph.
A. Based on what you have observed above, list three things you might infer from this photograph.
A. What questions does this photograph raise in your mind?B. Where could you find answers to them?
5. Once back in the classroom the students are to locate each base on a large blank map of South Carolina. The student is to place the base in its exact geographic location and to name the military base and give a brief summary of the impact that the base had on the economy. The summary should answer the two essential questions: Why were these military bases important to South Carolina? What was the economic impact of each base to the communities they were built in and to the state?
I enjoyed planning this lesson as I have been to many of these military bases while I served in the United States Air Force. The State Standards for this lesson are very simple and not to complicated. My goal was to have the students understand the importance of these bases in South Carolina and the economic impact that the opening and closing of these bases have on the local communities. The students appeared to enjoy the primary photographs of Fort Jackson. The photo analysis worksheets were helpful for the students to analyze each photograph. The students were able to find and locate the answers to the essential questions for the lesson while using the Internet. Many students volunteered to answer the many questions that I asked of them. Many students actually came to the map on the wall to pinpoint and find each military base on a huge map of South Carolina. The lesson was achieved successfully and with little disturbance or discipline problems during the class period.
Assessment is performance based. Students' participation in the research, discussion and summary writing were based on a standard- based rubric: Unacceptable, Needs work, Good, and Excellent.
Examples of Students Work
Crayton Middle School
Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina II - History
South Carolina Genealogy Trails
Additional records may be obtained through National Archives and Records Administration
"C" Pensioners - List presented in The State - July 11, 1896. Counties included are: Newberry, Marlboro, Marian, Lexington, Horry, Kershaw, Hampton and Georgetown.
Camp Sevier - 1918 - List of men who completed training and proceeded to Camp Jackson, SC
|1869 Milita Registration by county||Sketch of Company K., 23rd South Carolina Volunteers - from 1862-1865|
|The First Shot of the Civil War - an account of the first shot fired at Fort Sumter 1861||Company K, 14th SC Volunteers|
|Civil War Battlefield Sites - list of South Carolina battlefield sites with map included.||Company K., 23rd Regiment Roll|
|List of South Carolina Confederate Civil War Units||History of Kershaw's Brigade|
|List of South Carolina Union Civil War Units||Roll of Kershaw's Brigade|
|South Carolina Civil War Pardons, 1865-67 - Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons ("Amnesty Papers")||South Carolina Women in the Confederacy|
|Blacks in the Civil War - Pensioners||Applications for Admission of Female Relatives of Veterans 1925 - 1955|
|1907 Confederate Census||Applications for Admission of Veterans 1909 - 1939|
|4th through 16th Battalions and Regiments||First South Carolina Volunteers, Afterwards Thirty-Third United States Colored Troops.|
|South Carolina 'Legions'||Civil War Facts|
|Tentative Roster Of The Third Regiment,South Carolina Volunteers||South Carolina Troops in Confederate Service, Volume II|
|Palmetto Riflemen, Co B 4th Regiment||Soldiers from Elbert Co., GA with SC ties|
|Confederate Veterans and Their War Records||Camp Aslyum, Columbia|
|10th Regiment||Butler and his Cavalry, 1861-1865|
|Washington Light Infantry|
Korean War/Conflict Casualties - listing of South Carolina soldiers who died.
World War I Casualties - listing of South Carolina soldiers who died during WWI. Database includes name, cause of death, hometown and pictures of the soldier (as their available).
The Distinguished Service Cross - list of men who received this honor during WWI (county unknown).
The Distinguished Service Medal - list of men who received this honor during WWI (county unknown).
World War II - general data about the war . . . link will take you to our Genealogy Trails main site
World War II Honor List of Dead & Missing of South Carolina - this is the explaination of the process taken in compling this data. Check the SC counties for actual names of those entered onto this list.
World War II Prisoners of War - listing of South Carolina soldiers who were held as prisoners of war in Germany and Japan.
Vietnam War Casualties - listing of South Carolina soldiers who died during this war.
Iraq & Afghanistan War Casualties from South Carolina - list of servicemen/servicewoman who have lost their lives in this war.
Prior to European settlement, the region now called South Carolina was populated by several Indian groups. Indians of Iroquoian stock, including the Cherokee, inhabited the northwestern section, while those of the Siouan stock—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. The English established the first permanent settlement in 1670 under the supervision of the eight lords proprietors who had been granted ⋊rolana" by King Charles II. At first the colonists settled at Albemarle Point on the Ashley River: 10 years later, they moved across the river to the present site of Charleston.
Rice cultivation began in the coastal swamps, and black slaves were imported as field hands. The colony flourished, and by the mid-1700s, new areas were developing inland. Germans, Scots-Irish, and Welsh, who differed markedly from the original aristocratic settlers of the Charleston area, migrated to the southern part of the new province. Although the upcountry was developing and was taxed, it was not until 1770 that the settlers there were represented in the government. For the most part, the colonists had friendly relations with the Indians. In 1715, however, the Yamasee were incited by Spanish colonists at St. Augustine, Fla., to attack the South Carolina settlements. The settlers successfully resisted, with no help from the proprietors.
The original royal grant had made South Carolina a very large colony, but eventually the separate provinces of North Carolina and Georgia were established, two moves that destined South Carolina to be a small state. The colonists were successful in having the proprietors overthrown in 1719 and the government transferred to royal rule by 1721.
Skirmishes with the French, Spanish, Indians, and pirates, as well as a slave uprising in 1739, marked the pre-Revolutionary period. South Carolina opposed the Stamp Act of 1765 and took an active part in the American Revolution. The first British property seized by American Revolutionary forces was Ft. Charlotte in McCormick County in 1775. Among the many battles fought in South Carolina were major Patriot victories at Ft. Moultrie in Charleston (1776), Kings Mountain (1780), and Cowpens (1781), the last two among the war's most important engagements. Delegates from South Carolina, notably Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, were leaders at the federal constitutional convention of 1787. On 23 May 1788, South Carolina became the 8th state to ratify the Constitution.
Between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, two issues dominated South Carolinians' political thinking: tariffs and slavery. Senator John C. Calhoun took an active part in developing the nullification theory by which a state claimed the right to abrogate unpopular federal laws. Open conflict over tariffs during the early 1830s was narrowly averted by a compromise on the rates, but in 1860, on the issue of slavery, no compromise was possible. At the time of secession, on 20 December 1860, more than half the state's population consisted of black slaves. The first battle of the Civil War took place at Ft. Sumter in Charleston Harbor on 12 April 1861. Federal forces soon captured the Sea Islands, but Charleston withstood a long siege until February 1865. In the closing months of the war, Union troops under General William Tecumseh Sherman burned Columbia and caused widespread destruction elsewhere. South Carolina contributed about 63,000 soldiers to the Confederacy out of a white population of some 291,000. Casualties were high: nearly 14,00 men were killed in battle or died after capture.
Federal troops occupied South Carolina after the war. During Reconstruction, as white South Carolinians saw it, illiterates, carpetbaggers, and scalawags raided the treasury, plunging the state into debt. The constitution was revised in 1868 by a convention in which blacks outnumbered whites by 76 to 48 given the franchise, blacks attained the offices of lieutenant governor and US representative. In 1876, bands of white militants called Red Shirts, supporting the gubernatorial candidacy of former Confederate General Wade Hampton, rode through the countryside urging whites to vote and intimidating potential black voters. Hampton, a Democrat, won the election, but was not permitted by the Republican incumbent to take office until President Rutherford B. Hayes declared an end to Reconstruction and withdrew federal troops from the state in April 1877.
For the next 100 years, South Carolina suffered through political turmoil, crop failures, and recessions. A major political change came in the 1880s with a large population increase upcountry and the migration of poor whites to cities. These trends gave farmers and industrial workers a majority of votes, and they found their leader in Benjamin Ryan "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman, a populist who stirred up class and racial hatreds by attacking the Ȭharleston ring." Tillman was influential in wresting control of the state Democratic Party from the coastal aristocrats he served as governor from 1890 to 1894 and then as US senator until his death in 1918. However, his success inaugurated a period of political and racial demagoguery that saw the gradual (though not total) disfranchisement of black voters.
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 tenant farmers, or sharecroppers, from the land to the cities. There they found jobs in textile mills, and textiles became the state's leading industry after 1900. With the devastation of the cotton crop by the boll weevil in the 1920s, farmers were compelled to diversify their crops, and some turned to raising cattle. Labor shortages in the North during and after World War II drew many thousands of African Americans from South Carolina to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New York, and other cities.
In the postwar period, 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. BMW, the German automobile company, established their North American plant in Greenville. Tourism also played a role, with the coastal areas drawing visitors from around the nation. In the early 2000s, South Carolina, along with other tobacco-producing states, was in the midst of a transition away from tobacco production.
Public school desegregation after the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling of 1954 proceeded peaceably, but very slowly, and blacks were gradually accepted alongside whites in the textile mills and other industries. 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 firestorm over the display of the Confederate flag on the dome of the State House. The controversy prompted the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) to call for a tourism boycott of the state. A January 2000 protest drew nearly 50,000 demonstrators, black and white, against the flag. 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. Tourism officials called for the NAACP to lift its boycott, but the organization refused to do so, maintaining the flag's only place is in a museum of history.
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. Well-known conservative Republican Strom Thurmond represented South Carolina in the US Senate from 1954 to 2003, when he died at age 100. But his Democratic counterpart, Ernest Hollings (also a former governor) has been in the Senate since 1966.
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo, the 10th-strongest hurricane to hit the United States coast in the 20th century, struck South Carolina, packing 135-mph (217-kph) winds. Ripping roofs off buildings and sweeping boats onto city streets, the storm killed 37 people and produced over $700 million worth of property damage. Seven South Carolina counties were declared disaster areas. In 1993, flooding, followed by a record-breaking drought, caused an estimated $226 million in crop damage.
In response to a Supreme Court ruling, The Citadel (in Charleston), one of only two state-supported military schools in the country, admitted its first female cadet, Shannon Faulkner, in 1995. Faulkner left the institution after only six days. In 1997 two of four women attending the institution quit, alleging hazing and sexual harassment by their male peers. In May 1999 the institution graduated its first female cadet. By the following August, there were 75 female cadets enrolled at the Citadel—the first in its 156-year history, as the school fought a sexual harassment lawsuit of a former cadet.
In 1999 a settlement was reached in the worst oil spill in the state's history. A record $7-million fine was to be paid by a national pipeline company that admitted its negligence caused nearly one million gallons of diesel fuel to pollute the Upstate River.
South Carolina finished fiscal year 2003 with a $68.8 million budget deficit, down from the $248.8 million deficit at the end of fiscal year 2002. In 2003, Republican Governor Mark Sanford, elected in 2002, urged state legislators to reform the way the government conducts its business, from allowing state officials to hire and fire employees more easily, to funding schools with block grants rather than line items.