School History of South Carolina

A Look Inside: School History of South Carolina

As part of our expansion of our American County Histories Collection, we have new volumes coming online every month. On May 1, 2017, the 1864 title School History of South Carolina by John Abney Chapman became available.

This volume is an excellent example of how South Carolina’s state history was taught to students living in the state at the end of the 19th century. Of particular interest to Civil War buffs will be Chapter XL: The War Of Secession. The book’s author had to convey the history to the children and grandchildren of the Confederate soldiers who experienced it first hand.


This book is written for the young, therefore the style is easy and animated. Short stories are occasionally introduced for the purpose of fixing upon the mind of the youthful student the truths of the history which the stories are intended to illustrate.

It has been revised and edited, and the questions have been prepared by practical teachers, so as to adapt it for use in the schoolroom.

It also has a full index, so as to make it useful as a book of handy reference.

South Carolina has a history of which none of her children need be ashamed, and it is the patriotic duty of each citizen to see that every effort is made to keep alive in the minds of each rising generation that reverence for the heroic deeds of our ancestors which inspires youth to emulate examples of bravery, daring and self-sacrifice.

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.

This book is sent forth in the hope that it may be the means of imparting to the youth of the State the true story of her deeds of heroism and patriotism, both in times of war and of peace.

Excerpt from Chapter I: History of South Carolina

The book is formatted in short easily absorbed paragraphs on specific topics in a list/chain style that builds up a picture that the kids could be tested on at the end as shown below:

Chapter 1: History of South Carolina

Chapter 1: History of South Carolina

Location and Extent – South Carolina belongs to that sisterhood of States which is situated in the central portion of the North American continent and known as the United States of America. It lies on the Atlantic Ocean between the parallels of 32° 4′ and 35° 12′ north latitude and the meridians of 1° 30′ and 6° 54′ west from Washington. The shape of the State is triangular, the apex of the triangle being in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the base on the Atlantic coast. It is bounded on the north by North Carolina, and on the east by North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and Georgia, and on the west by Georgia. Its greatest length from southeast to northwest is about two hundred and fifty miles, and its greatest width is about two hundred miles. The State contains 30,570 square miles.

Original Forests – When first discovered, the whole country was covered with heavy forests. Near the Atlantic coast live oaks and magnolias abounded, with cedars, bays, and myrtles, interspersed. The swamps contiguous to the rivers had many tall, heavy cypress trees. For a hundred miles or more, above the swampy regions towards the interior, the whole country was covered with the long leaf, or pitch pine, which was to become so valuable in after years. Higher up the country, above the region of sand and long leaf pines, were forests of different kinds of oak, hickory, short leaf pine, and various other trees. For some distance from the coast the surface of the country is almost entirely level, and is generally covered with deep sand. As we advance from the coast to the interior, there is, however, a gradual, but almost imperceptible rise. The country becomes more broken and hilly; much less sandy; and rocks appear. The northern part of the State is mountainous.

Game and Fish – From the seaboard to the mountains the whole country was covered with forests; and these forests were not, by any means, an uninhabited solitude, but were full of life. All kinds of game abounded, and the rivers and small streams were full of fish. Many wild animals that were good for food roamed at large in the extensive forests, and it was never very difficult for the natives to procure food enough to sustain life. To show the great abundance of wild deer, it need only be mentioned that for many years after the white people had settled the lower country, the deer skins exported frequently numbered as many as one hundred and fifty thousand a year.

Indians – When the territory, which is now comprised within the limits of South Carolina, was discovered and explored by Europeans, it was inhabited by various tribes of people of a dusky reddish or brown color, to whom was given the general name of Indians.

The Cherokees – This tribe lived in the northwestern part of the territory. Their hunting grounds extended eastward between the Broad and Saluda rivers to their junction. It is said by Adair, the best authority on these matters, that, in 1735, they numbered 6,000 warriors. Forty years afterward they were so reduced in numbers from sickness, small-pox, and the use of rum, that they could not muster more than 2,300.

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

Related Posts

Tags: ,

Stay Connected

Connect with Accessible Archives on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin to stay up to date on news and blog posts or get our latest blog posts by email.

Positive SSL