After practicing medicine in North Carolina for two years, Brown moved to Charleston and became the first black female physician to practice in South Carolina. With several other African Americans, she contributed to the establishment of the Cannon Hospital and Training School for Nurses in 1897, which was later renamed McClennan-Banks Hospital. Read the Entry »

After white church officials in Charleston reduced the control that black Methodists heretofore exercised over their church affairs, Brown led most of them from the denomination in 1817 in protest. They formed an African church, and Brown traveled to Philadelphia, where in 1818 he was admitted as an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. His Charleston church, which had grown to more than three thousand members, affiliated with this northern black denomination. Read the Entry »

Brown’s experience in developing pension and insurance programs for large businesses convinced him that he could operate his own business. In 1972 he created American Development Corporation (ADCOR), the first minority-owned manufacturing plant in the Southeast. It was financed largely by a $200,000 Small Business Administration loan, which Brown paid back in three years. Read the Entry »

In February 1742, when Bryan sent the assembly a journal of his predictions that God would use the slave population to punish those who profaned his laws, the Commons House ordered his arrest. Bryan fled and underwent a grave crisis of faith. Witnesses claimed that, like Moses, he attempted to part the waters of a creek and cross that way, and he was nearly drowned. Shortly thereafter, Bryan wrote the Speaker of the House apologizing for “the Dishonour I’ve done to God, as well as the Disquiet which I may have occasioned to my Country.” Read the Entry »

Under federal desegregation guidelines, the state had to create a unitary school system instead of the racially separate systems that had been in place prior to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Federal guidelines quashed tactics such as freedom-of-choice plans that many districts utilized to circumvent or slow desegregation. Busing to achieve a racial balance was emphasized in the new regulations. Busbee’s calm, moderate leadership as superintendent proved a great asset during these times. Read the Entry »

Butler is perhaps best remembered for his role in the attack on Charles Sumner—even though he was not present for one minute of it. On May 19 and 20, Sumner launched into a speech entitled “The Crime against Kansas.” His villain was Butler, who was absent. Butler was “the Don Quixote of slavery,” and his mistress in this morality play, “though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight . . . the harlot, Slavery.” Sumner then compounded the insult by mocking Butler’s habit of spitting when he spoke. On May 22, in an incident that some historians view as a critical turning point toward civil war, Butler’s cousin Preston S. Brooks avenged his kinsman by caning Sumner on the floor of the Senate. Read the Entry »

As a senator, Butler supported civil service reform, a strong navy, and the elevation of the agriculture department to cabinet-level status. He also secured nearly $5 million in federal funds for South Carolina harbor and river improvements and public buildings. In 1890 Butler instigated a national debate with his introduction of a bill to provide federal aid to blacks who would emigrate to Africa. Responding to South Carolina’s agrarian movement, Butler shifted his position from that of a conservative Democrat to one favoring such Populist measures as the free coinage of silver and a federal income tax. Read the Entry »

Although Butler served in the General Assembly from 1776 to 1789, his most significant political accomplishments came at the national level. In 1787 the legislature elected Butler to both the Confederation Congress and the constitutional convention scheduled to meet later that spring in Philadelphia. In the constitutional debates, Butler generally supported proposals for a strong central government, a single executive, and wealth rather than population as the basis of representation. He also championed South Carolina interests, especially slavery, and vigorously opposed the three-fifths compromise, arguing that slaves represented property wealth and should be counted fully for purposes of representation. Read the Entry »

In 1927 Susan Butler opened a free library and reading room in Dart Hall, using her father’s books, folding chairs, and two tables. The reading room was open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Dart served as librarian and operated the room with donations and at her own expense until the Charleston Free Library established the Dart Hall Branch in 1931. The Charleston County Free Library and its branches received money from the Rosenwald Fund and the Carnegie Foundation, while the Dart family rented the building to the county for one dollar a year. The Dart Hall Branch opened to the African American public with 3,600 books. Read the Entry »

He is widely considered to be the first African American to have his medical findings appear in print. Read the Entry »