Boyd has published four novels: Nerves (1973), Mourning the Death of Magic (1977), The Revolution of Little Girls (1991), and Terminal Velocity (1997). The last two are part of a trilogy telling the story of Ellen Burns, a Charleston native who experiences an unsatisfying marriage, experiments with heavy drinking and drugs, and loses herself through various affairs and lifestyle changes. In 1988 she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship. Four years later she received the Lambda Literary Award for her novel The Revolution of Little Girls, and in 1993–1994 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Read the Entry »

This amiable, small, dark brown retriever is a superb hunter and loving family pet. It was bred to provide an ideal dog for hunting fowl in the swamps along the Wateree River, which demanded a sturdy, compact dog built for boat travel and capable of retrieving on land or water. Lemuel Whitaker “Whit” Boykin, a planter and sportsman from the Boykin community near Camden, tested many dogs to answer these needs. With luck and selective breeding, the multipurpose retriever was being bred to type by the 1920s. Read the Entry »

In October 1920 Bragg was named director of the Charleston Museum and became the first woman in the country to hold such a position at a publicly supported museum. Soon thereafter she opened the museum to black patrons one afternoon a week. She continued the educational focus of the museum and added a children’s library and a reading room that lent books. These efforts were the forerunners of the Charleston Free Library, which opened in January 1931. She was both its trustee and its first librarian. Read the Entry »

In 1888 the school moved to DeGraffenried Place, a ten-acre site in Chester. The institute gained its first black leader, J. D. Martin, in 1928. Brainerd Junior College opened in 1934 to train teachers. Both institutions closed in 1939, citing increased public school opportunities for blacks and financial strains. The actress Phylicia Rashad, daughter of an alumna, purchased the former campus in 1997 and began restoration work on the only surviving building, Kumler Hall. Read the Entry »

Incorporated in 1858, Branchville is known as Orangeburg County’s “railroad town” because of its recognition as the oldest railroad junction in the world. The South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company completed its track to Branchville from Charleston on November 7, 1832. Every September, Branchville’s railroad history comes to the forefront during “Raylrode Daze Festivul,” a weekend event that centers around the town’s historic railroad depot/museum. Read the Entry »

By 1916 Brandon Mill had 86,000 spindles and assets worth $1.5 million. With Smith as mill president, New York agents Woodward and Baldwin controlled the mill’s stock and consolidated the mill with nearby Poinsett Mill, forming the Brandon Corporation in 1928. Read the Entry »

In May 1864, Bratton was promoted to brigadier general, commanding Bratton’s Brigade, Field’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. Bratton served in this position until the army’s surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. Bratton returned to Fairfield County and entered politics. A conservative Democrat, he served as a delegate to the 1865 South Carolina constitutional convention and represented Fairfield County in the S.C. Senate from 1865 to 1866. In the fall of 1884 Bratton was elected to Congress. Taking his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on December 8, 1884, Bratton served until March 3, 1885, and did not seek reelection. Read the Entry »

Bratton served as a regimental commander in Sumter’s Brigade until the end of the Revolution. After the war, he served as a justice of the peace for York County, sheriff of Pinckney District, and a state legislator in both the House of Representatives (1785–1790) and the Senate (1791–1794). He also operated a small store, was a successful planter and businessman, and owned several slaves. Read the Entry »

The settlement began in 1766 as the two-hundred-acre farm of Colonel William Bratton (ca. 1742–1815), but by the early nineteenth century Brattonsville had become one of the largest plantations in the upstate. Read the Entry »

Brawley developed into a prolific writer, contributing works to such periodicals as Bookman, Dial, North American Review, Sewanee Review, and Reviewer. But it was in his writing and editing of books about the African American experience that he pioneered. While he was teaching at Morehouse in 1909, a student pleaded with him to write a textbook that would enable black students to learn something of the experiences and accomplishments of their own people. Four years later, in 1913, Macmillan published his book A Short History of the American Negro. Read the Entry »