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Honoring The States: The 8th State - South Carolina...

South Carolina is the 8th state to ratify the US Constitution on May 23rd, 1788. South Carolina has more peaches than Georgia, harvesting three times the amount every year. In the Civil War, South Carolina was the first state to secede before the battles broke out. On Morgan Island off the coast of Beaufort, a colony of more than 3,000 Rhesus monkeys roam freely, making it the only place in the US where you can see this phenomenon. Also, South Carolina is the home of the largest Gingko farm in the entire world. This state is the location of the smallest police station, the very first barbecue to ever be used, as well as the first game of golf to ever be played. The capital of South Carolina is Columbia, the state bird is the Carolina Wren, the state flower is the Yellow Jessamine, and the state tree is the Sabal Palm.

Between 14,000 and 40,000 years ago, The Catawba were the very first people to occupy the land along the Catawba River in what we now call South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. There were also the Cherokee, Creek, Shawnee, and Chickasaw who were culturally and politically different living more inland. The Lowcountry of South Carolina is about 80-miles inland between the Savannah River to the south and the Santee River to the North, and was home to over a dozen Native American tribes between 1562 and 1751. French, English, and Spanish explorers have been documenting through written records the various tribes of indigenous peoples during that entire period. Europeans introduced diseases in the 1560's, and wars in the late 1570's that combined to wipe out a significant amount of their population. The Spanish enlisted indigenous tribes from the south to raid and enslave others. A bloody battle called the Escamacu War killed most of the indigenous who lived in South Carolina, while the others moved either northward or westward. The survivors banded together and formed new tribes as they moved away. Various tribes popped up with several languages and dialects in the 17th century. During the 1670's-1680's, local indigenous people came together and allied with the English to drive away hostile Westerners trying to kill and enslave them. Eventually, the English encroached upon more of their land, and when the indigenous fought back, they were sold as slaves and shipped to the Caribbean into English settlements, or they were forced to give up their homelands and move north and west. Between fighting and diseases, most of the indigenous people either died or were forced to give up their land. Much later, after years and years of fighting for their land, an appeal was made in 1743 by the St. Helena, Edisto, Kiawah, and Kussoe people in order to provide them with a safe place of refuge. Eight years later, in 1751, the South Carolina governor named the Etiwan as a local Indian ally. They were the only ones to receive this support and acknowledgment.

South Carolina seceded from the union on December 20th, 1869. The Civil War devastated South Carolina, as they lost one fifth of the white male population and the economy struggled to come back. There was a long reconstruction period that had its challenges for all people alive in this era. Populist reforms in the 1890's gave power to white farmers, while disenfranchising African Americans. Segregation increased until the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's, which brought peace and an end to legal discrimination. Eventually, all people who were citizens were able to participate in government and economy.

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