Bridging the Sea Island's Past and Present, 1893-2006
The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina
The great exodus of African Americans away from Beaufort County and the post-World War II sunbelt immigration transformed Beaufort County from a majority black population in 1900 to a majority white population in 1960. Perhaps the county's most representative immigrant experience has been that of retirees and resort-home owners, a phenomenon that began in the late nineteenth century as wealthy northerners—financiers, industrialists, and industrial farmers—began purchasing former plantations and transformed them into private hunting preserves.
The new Beaufortonians revolutionized lowcountry life and culture as they brought new forms of economic enterprise, social and cultural values, and worldviews different from those that had shaped Beaufort County for centuries. Monumental political events are fully addressed from an insider's point of view, but, amid all the frontiers, storms, and demographic revolutions, Rowland and Wise have also provided a business history of the American South. Enterprise and entrepreneurship, whether successful or failed, link together all the themes and unite all the actors found in this work.
Here readers meet Robert Smalls, Thomas E. Miller, George Waterhouse, Niels Christensen, Thomas Talbird, Tillie O'Dell, Isabella Glen, William Keyserling, Kate Gleason, Harriet Keyserling, Charles Fraser, and Bobby Ginn—active agents of change in politics, business, and culture. Indeed Rowland and Wise have not only chronicled the lives and times of these people but have also been active participants in the stories they tell. Rowland is a Beaufort native with centuries-old lowcountry lineage. Wise, an Ohio transplant, is a scholar of the Civil War and the local history of his adopted home.
"It is a reading experience that will delight anyone who appreciates a story well told."—The Journal of Southern History
"The book is an intriguing and nuanced history of Beaufort County. The authors weave the economic, political, educational, and social history into a fascinating story of the Lowcountry that transports the reader to experience the events and the people. It clearly communicates the place Beaufort County plays in the history of South Carolina."—Jane T. Upshaw, chancellor, University of South Carolina Beaufort
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