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Historic Figures

Some of the most prominent names in Clarendon county today such as Cantey, DuBose, Gaillard, Des Champs, Richbourg, Lesesne, McFaddin, Guerry, Millette, Sprott, and Mouzon have their origins with the early settlers who came up the Santee River from coastal areas in the 1700's.

The following are brief profiles on some of the more prominent citizens from Clarendon county: 

Joseph Cantey, planter and member of the Commons House of Assembly.  Cantey,  purchased the Mount Hope Plantation around 1739.   He served as a captain in the militia of what was then Craven County. He also served as justice of the peace, then represented Prince Frederick´s Parish in the Commons House of Assembly from1754-1757. Learn more about the Cantey family at Internet Archives.

Richard Richardson, Brigadier General and Legislator. He became a land surveyor and moved to South Carolina in the 1730's. At the time surveyors were considered one of the most honorable professions and thus, Richardson became one of the leading men in the State. In South Carolina his reputation for high character soon won him the confidence of his constituents and he was repeatedly selected as judge and arbiter of many feuds.

Richardson later commanded the militia of South Carolina in campaigns against the Indians where his reputation as a officer was first noted. In the Cherokee Indian war of 1760 and 1761 he acquired a colonel's commission. Realizing the imminent conflict with England, he was elected a delegate to the First Provincial Congress at which he would assist in framing the first constitution and was elected a member of the legislative council.

Prior to the start of the Revolution War, Richardson was appointed a Brigadier General. Continued disturbances against the Whigs by the Tories in the upstate commanded him to quell the disturbances by force. He brought his army of 1000 men to engage the Tories and later crushed them and any possible successful future reorganization. This was later known as the "Snow Campaign" and was credited with the drastic reduction in Tory violence and insurrection. Richardson went on to participate in the battle of Sullivan's Island in June of 1776, the battle at Savannah and the battle of Charleston in which the Continental Army surrendered to the British in 1780.

Richardson was made a prisoner after the fall of Charleston and would be confined to his quarters until he fell gravely ill. He was given permission to return home where he died. Colonel Banastre Tarleton, the English Colonel went looking for Rebels and came to Richardson's plantation and soon ordered his men to exhume the deceased Richardson. Tarleton claimed he wanted to view the face of the man with such decided character, but most felt it was to see if the family silver had been buried with him. Before leaving Tarleton would order everything burned and destroyed. Six of his descendants would became Governor of South Carolina. See Carolana.com

Joseph Pack and his wife, Louisa Alexandria Pack, arrived in America from England in the year 1770. He became one of the most extensive land holders in the Carolina Low County, having acquired more than 10,000 acres of land. He helped found the town of Packsville (later renamed Paxville in 1902). Paxville is believed to be the oldest town in Clarendon County.

Some of the land grants given to Joseph Pack were from King George III of England, while others were from the state of South Carolina. Some of the land grants in Paxville may have been given to Joseph as a result of his Revolutionary War service. There is a marker honoring Joseph Pack’s service with the South Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War.

Joseph and Louisa raised a large family of six boys and six girls. Joseph Pack died in 1827 and his wife Louisa followed in 1832. Joseph Pack is buried in the Paxville Cemetery. See http://www.singletonfamily.org

James Burchell Richardson was born October 28, 1770, in what is now Clarendon county. He was the son of famed Revolutionary War General Richard Richardson. In addition to being a planter and horse breeder, fought in the Revolutionary War, was active in politics, serving in both houses of the state legislature. On December 8, 1802, the General Assembly elected him Governor of South Carolina. He served from 1802 to 1804. Learn more at SCIWay

Richard Irvine Manning was born in what is now Clarendon count on May 1, 1789. He received his education at the local private schools. In 1811, he graduated from South Carolina College. He served as a captain in the South Carolina militia during the War of 1812. After the war, he engaged in planting on Hickory Hill Plantation in Clarendon county. In 1820, Manning was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and served for one term. He successfully sought election to the South Carolina Senate and two years later in 1824, the General Assembly elected him as Governor of South Carolina. He served from 1824 to 1826. In 1834, he won the seat of the 8th Congressional district and was re-elected in 1834. He died on May 1, 1836.  See Wikipedia.

John Peter Richardson II, was born on April 14, 1801, at Hickory Hill Plantation in what is now Clarendon county.  Richardson graduated from South Carolina College in 1819 and practiced law upon passing the bar. At the age of 24, Richardson was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1825. He was elevated to the South Carolina Senate in 1834 and won a seat in Congress for the 8th district after the death of Richard Irvine Manning. In 1836, running as a Democrat, Richardson won re-election for a full term to the Twenty-fifth Congress. 

Richardson was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1840. Upon leaving the governorship in 1842, Richardson remained active in politics by participating at the Southern Convention of 1850, the Southern Rights Convention of 1852 and he signed the Ordinance of Secession at the Secession Convention of 1860. He died in Fulton on January 24, 1864, and was buried at the Richardson Cemetery on Hickory Hill Plantation.  For more, see Wikipedia.

John Lawrence Manning was born on January 29, 1816, in what is now Clarendon county.He was the son of Governor Richard Irvine Manning and Elizabeth Payne Richardson Manning. He was a grandson of General Richard Richardson of Revolutionary War fame.

John L. Manning graduated from the South Carolina College in 1837. A large planter in South Carolina and Louisiana, his home plantation was "Manchester" in Clarendon District. In 1860 John Manning was accounted one of the richest men in South Carolina. He served as Governor of South Carolina from 1852-54. He served multiple terms in the State Senate from 1846-52, 1861-65, 1866-67 and 1877-78. He was also a member of the House of Representatives 1842-46 and 1865-66.

Named to the Secession Convention in 1860, he signed the Ordinaance of Secession. During the War Between the States John Manning served a colonel on the staff of General P.G.T. Beauregard at Fort Sumter and at the Battle of Manassas in Virginia. Immediately after the war he was elected to the U.S. Senate but, declining to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, so he was not seated.

John L. Manning died October 29, 1889. The town of Manning is named after him. Learn more at Findagrave.com

John Peter Richardson III, was born on September 25, 1831, in what is now Clarendon county. After graduating from South Carolina College in 1849, Richardson managed Elmswood Plantation in Clarendon County. He was waselected to the South Carolina House of Representatives during antebellum South Carolina.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Richardson enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862 and was on the staff of Brigadier General James Cantey of Camden until the end of the war. In 1865, after the war, he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and later that year to the South Carolina Senate. He was inactive in politics during Reconstruction, but returned in 1880 on the Democratic ticket running unopposed for state Treasurer.

In 1886, Richardson won the gubernatorial election of 1886 and became the 83rd Governor of South Carolina. He won a second term as Governor in 1888. He died on July 6, 1899. See Wikipedia.

David Wells Alderman was born in Wells Chapel, NC, on March 5, 1849. He married Martha Priscilla Wells on February 24, 1870, and they had 6 children. They moved to Clarendon county in South Carolina in 1885, where D.W. established a lumber mill and proceeded to buy land and lumber rights.

He established the town of Alcolu to house the employees of his timber company and lumber mill. Over time, his company, D.W. Alderman & Sons, grew to encompass logging operations, a saw mill, planing mill, hosiery mill, flooring mill, and an extensive farm and cattle ranch The company also ran a cotton gin, hotel, company store, and several other businesses.

D.W. Alderman also helped build schools, churches, baseball fields, an electric plant, and a telephone system for the town. D.W. Alderman also founded the Alcolu Railroad, the Paroda Railroad, and built the Alcolu railroad depot. In 1919, his company opened the 'Alderman 20 Stores in One' in nearby Manning. It was one of the first department stores in South Carolina and it had the first elevator in town. D.W. Alderman passed away on September 16, 1921, in Alcolu, South Carolina.

John Isaac Ingram was born on July 7, 1820. He married Elizabeth Jane Conyers Ingram and they had six children. In addition to being a doctor, Ingram was also a landowner and planter near Manning in Clarendon County. He served as a member of the SC House of Representatives from 1842 to 1848 and the SC Senate from 1848 to 1856. He was one of the signers of the South Carolina Ordinance ofSecession. He has been referred to as “The Father of Clarendon County” because of his unwavering support for the newly formed county. Dr. Ingram gave land for public use, such as the Manning Cemetery, where he was buried after his death on May 14, 1888.

Joseph Copley Burgess was born November 03, 1821 in Clarendon county, South Carolina. He married Sarah Ann Platt on February 17, 1846. He was a surveyor and a farmer and lived on 'Bear Creek' near Manning.

Soon after Clarendon County was reestablished in 1855, Joseph C. Burgess was chosen to locate the geographic center of the county. The exact center fell on the east side of Ox Swamp but enough suitable land was not available. It was decided to build the courthouse and village of Manning about a mile east of Ox Swamp on land owned by Joseph Burgess. On May 16, 1856, Captain Burgess deeded six acres of the land over to the State of South Carolina for the building of a courthouse and jail. Manning received its official charter as the county seat for Clarendon on January 28, 1861.

During the Civil War, he served as a Captain in the 25th Regiment of the South Carolina Volunteers and was wounded in action. He was wounded at the Battle of Battery Wagner in September 1863. On September 22, 1864, he relieved the garrison at Fort. Sumter with a detail of 100 men from I Company of the 25th Regiment. Captain Joseph Burgess died many years later on February 17, 1881, and is buried in Manning Cemetery.

Moses Levi was born in Bosenbach, Bavaria, Germany August 15, 1826. His wife, Hannah Jacobs, was born December 3, 1830 in Bosenbach, Bavaria, Germany. 

Moses Levi was one of Manning’s earliest settlers and businessmen. In 1848, at the age of 21, Levi joined the large number of Jewish people who fled Germany, seeking a new life in America. In 1853, he married Hannah Jeckel in Charleston, S.C.  They initially settled in Sumter, where Levi ran a mercantile business.

They stayed in Sumter for three years, then in 1856 moved to the new town of Manning, where he purchased two lots across from the courthouse and opened one of several businesses. The couple had ten children, nine of whom lived to adulthood: David, Rosa, Mitchell, Ferdinand, Abe, Louis, Ellen, Meyer, and Sallie.

Like many German immigrants to the South, Moses Levi joined the Confederate Army. He eventually became quartermaster of his regiment, the Sprott Guards. On April 1, 1865, Levi was taken prisoner at the Battle of Five Forks during the last Federal attacks on Petersburg, Virginia. Released from prison three months later, he and several friends walked back to Manning from Virginia.

Upon his return, Levi discovered that most of the buildings he owned had been burned when Union troops under Brigadier General Edward E. Potter’s raided the town of Manning burning down much of the town. Despite this great financial loss, he rebuilt his business, raised his family of nine children and remained a community activist. Levi served as intendant (equivalent of mayor) for several terms and as a warden (city councilman) for several years.

Both Moses and Hannah Levi had important buildings in Manning named after them. In 1899, the year after Moses died, the Manning Collegiate Institute was about to close because of indebtedness. Levi’s family paid off the debt and provided operating funds for the school, which was renamed the Moses Levi Memorial Institute. The Levi family later gave land and a thousand dollars, in memory of Hannah Levi, toward the building of Manning’s first public library, which now houses the Clarendon County Archives.

The Levi family continued to contribute to the economic, educational and cultural growth of Manning and Clarendon County. See http://aronoff.com/family/i0015684.htm

The entire Citadel Class's of 1917 and 1918 eventually served in the armed forces during World War I, with 5 graduates earning the Distinguished Service Cross and 3 more earning the Navy Cross--all presented for "extraordinary heroism". One of these men was Captain Julius A. Mood, from Summerton, S.C. He was killed by hostile fire on July 21, 1918, in Soissons, France.

Taylor Hudnall Stukes (1893-1961) was born in Manning. He attended Davidson College and Washington and Lee University and received his LL.B. degree in 1919. Erskine College awarded him an LL.D. degree in 1969. He practiced law in Manning and married Miss Georgie Sauls of Manning in 1923.

A leader in the State Legislature for many years, he was elected Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court in 1940 and Chief Justice in 1956. He is noted for his enduring affection for his State and his devotion to family and church. He was a Ruling Elder in Manning Presbyterian Church and was Moderator of the Synod of South Carolina in 1956.

John Land is a long-time attorney and the senior political figure in Clarendon county. A member of the South Carolina legislature since 1976, Land also served as the Senate Majority Leader before retiring in 2012. A staunch Democrat, John Land was a strong advocate of school desegregation and enjoys the wide support among local blacks who comprise a substantial majority of the local voters. Along with his daughter, attorney Ricci Welch, Mr. Land represented the Macedonia Baptist Church in its lawsuit against the Klan after they burned down the church in 1995.

When you have stood in Manning High School, the Junior High School, or the Early Childhood Center, you can thank Senator John Land for either finding the money or lending his considerable influence in the state and the nation to fund these fine, modern facilities. The same goes for many educational facilities in the other school districts of Clarendon county.

Harry Briggs was among 20 African American parents in Clarendon County, South Carolina, who sued the local school board over the issue of unequal education opportunities being provided for their children. The case, Briggs v. Elliott, was eventually joined with four other lawsuits to form the landmark 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that racially segregated schools were unconstitutional.

Harry Briggs worked at a gas station and his wife worked for a motel. As the court case moved forward, both were let go from their jobs. Because he had served in the Army, he was able to take advantage of a government farm program, bought a mule, and took up farming. Like so many of the other black parents associated with this historic court case, he finally found he had to move out of the county. See PBS Learning Interview.

Rev. Joseph Armstrong DeLaine (1898-1974) was a minister and civil rights leader from Clarendon County, South Carolina. He received a B.A. from Allen University in 1931, working as a laborer and running a dry cleaning business to pay for his education.

DeLaine worked with Modjeska Simkins and the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP on the case Briggs v. Elliott, which became one of the five cases argued under Brown v. Board of Education. These cases brought an end to racial segregation in public schools across South Carolina and the United States.

As a result of his activism, Rev. DeLaine's home was burned down, as was the church of which he was the pastor. A warrant was issued for his arrest for returning gunfire when his parsonage came under hostile gunfire. He was forced to leave South Carolina, never to return to his home state before his death.  He moved first to New York City and then on to Buffalo, New York, where he founded another Methodist church. He died in 1974.

Rev. DeLaine had taught school in South Carolina and served as the principal of of Scotts Branch school, also known as the Liberty Hill colored school He was also the pastor of Liberty Hill African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. In 2006, he was inducted into South Carolina's Educational Hall of Honor at the University of South Carolina.

In 2004, Rev. DeLaine and 3 other plaintiffs in the Briggs v. Elliott court case were posthumously awarded Congressional gold medals in 2004 for their courage and persistence in changing the education system in the U.S. for the better, despite repeated acts of community violence against them.  See Wikipedia.

Robert “Mutt” Osborne was a native of Clarendon county. On January 11, 1944, Sergeant Osborne flew as a gunner aboard a 'Flying Fortress' in a strike against  Oschersleben, Germany. The B-17 bomber was badly shot up and fell out of control. Robert Osborne bailed out along with other crew members and was captured. He spent the rest of the war (17 months) in a POW camp in Krems, Austria. 

Reuben B. Clark, of Paxville, was the first African American Magistrate to serve Clarendon County since Reconstruction.  He served as Magistrate for 17 years. In 1995, Judge Clark was awarded the state of South Carolina’s highest honor, The Order of the Palmetto, by former Gov. Carroll Campbell.  Reuben Clark was a Charter Member in the Manning branch of the N.A.A.C.P.

Prominent Women from Clarendon County

ElizabethPeyre Richardson Manning (1794-1873) was the niece, wife, sister, mother, aunt and grandmother of six South Carolina governors. The town of Manning was named after her son, John Lawrence Manning.

Caroline Johnson was the first black women to enter the business world in Clarendon County. Courthouse records show that Mrs. Johnson acquired a farm consisting of 354 acres of land which, at that time, made her one of the major landholders in the area. In addition to establishing one of the first cotton gins in the county, she also  established the Johnson Mercantile Company.

Anne Custis Burgess a music teacher and resident of Summerton, S.C., composed the music to the state song "Carolina".

Althea Gibson a world reknowned tennis player born in Clarendon county was the first black woman to win at Wimbledon.

Peggy Parish was an American writer known best for the children's book series and fictional character Amelia Bedelia.

Marion McKnight won the Miss America title in 1957;

Ann Worsham Richardson was noted as the Audubon artist of our time. No other South Carolinian has done more to portray the avian wildlife of the Palmetto State.

Pansy Ridgeway became the first woman to be elected mayor of Manning in 1969. She served as mayor of Manning from 1970–96 and was the third woman elected mayor in South Carolina. She was also the first woman elected president of the South Carolina Municipal Association.

Julia Nelson completed Senator Johnson’s term as Mayor of Manning when he was elected Representative and she was unopposed in the next election. Julia Nelson was the first Black female to hold the position of Mayor in the City of Manning.

* See Historic Women of Clarendon County for more detail.

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