Dr. Matilda Evans: South Carolina’s Medical Pioneer 

Born four years after the end of slavery, Matilda Arabella Evans, who grew up on a family farm in eastern Aiken County, South Carolina, was the first African American and first woman in licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina and an advocate for improved health care for African Americans, including children. Matilda’schildhood experiences, educational background, … Read more

South Carolina’s State Symbols and Songs

South Carolina has more than 50 symbols and songs that represent the rich history and resources of our state. The state flag with its palmetto and crescent is the best-known symbol. But through the years, others have been added including the Carolina Wren, milk and tea, collards, the Carolina wolf spider, blue granite, sweetgrass basket … Read more

Poland & Clark—The 50-50 Expeditions

50 Years of South Carolina in Images & Stories Robert Clark launched his photography career in 1974. Tom Poland moved to South Carolina in 1974 to write and teach. Poland and Clark met at South Carolina Wildlife magazine and their journey in words and images began. Their seminal feature, “Tenant Homes—Testament To Hard Times,” charted … Read more

The Cleveland School Fire

NEW TOPIC! In 1923, on the last day in this two-story wooden school, people packed the house for the school play. In the third act, an oil lantern fell to the floor. Everything caught fire. Relatives threw children out windows, slid others down outer walls. The seventy-seven souls who perished—only thirteen recognizable—were laid to rest in … Read more

George Washington’s 1791 Tour of the South: Where He Went and What He Drank

George Washington promised to visit every state in the new union during his presidency, and in the spring 1791 he set off from his Mount Vernon, Virginia home and traveled all the way to Savannah, Georgia and back. In researching his journey for her book “Methodists and Moonshiners,” Smith followed the president’s tour, investigating not … Read more

Reconsidering James Petigru: Unionist and Civic Reformer in a Radical Age

Few sarcastic quips in all of southern history remain as famous as James Petigru’s reported comment upon receiving the news that South Carolina had seceded from the Union. South Carolina, Petigru mused sarcastically, was “too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.” Petigru died in 1863, a devoted Unionist and southern … Read more

Twenty-First Century South Carolina’s Economic Dilemma

Despite the significant increase in South Carolina’s per capita income over the decades since 1940 (and those gains were real and generated a more vigorous consumer economy), the Palmetto state’s standing among states remained in the bottom ten of among fifty. In 2021, despite the state’s aggressive and sustained development efforts, SC ranked 43th in per … Read more