The Galivants Ferry Stump meeting, a Democratic Party tradition since the 1880s, originated during the 1876 gubernatorial candidacy of Wade Hampton, the former general and Confederate hero. The meetings were started in a place called “the Thicket” by Press Daniels, area Democratic club president and executive committeeman. They matured into a tradition under the guidance of the Holliday family. The “stump,” which referred to a time when politicians promoted their candidacy by allegedly giving speeches while standing on tree stumps, was moved to a site beside the Holliday family store and continued by four generations of Hollidays, beginning with John W. Holliday. The tradition was carried on by his son, George J. Holliday, who became a state senator; then by his two grandsons, John Monroe Holliday and Joseph W. Holliday; then by his great-grandchildren.
The stump meetings soon drew hundreds who traveled by wagon, buggy, or horseback to hear aspirants to county-and statewide political positions. Over the years, the event assumed a carnival atmosphere, featuring balloons, streamers, chicken bog and barbecue, country and gospel music, and clogging. Politicians such as longtime U.S. Senator Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings had perfect attendance for decades.
The stumping, which has drawn as many as fifty speakers, has survived the inroads of television and remained a strong Democratic tradition in the twenty-first century.
Thompson, Eldridge. “Where Stumping Is Still the Style.” Sandlapper 5 (April 1972): 30–32.