S.C. Fourty-Eighth General Assembly.  The Fourty-Eighth General Assembly in 1868 had not only the unenvious tasks of "modernizing" the racial texture of the General Assembly; both House of Representatives and Senate, but also the "political mechanization of the State" to mimic the repbublican sentiment after the failure of the 1865 Antebellum-style Governmant which excluded the newly freedmen under the Presidential Reconstruction Act for the more inclusive Congressional Reconstruction Act of 1868.  The Sword and the Cross: Modes of Leadership and Recruitment as noted in Author Thomas Holt's book Black over White highlights the means by which the newly elected representatives and senators were sought during this period. "Agencies and instititions such as the Freedmen's Bureau, the U.S. Army, Missionary Societies, and Churches helped this newly sought after group with personal and political developments. Out of the total group of Negro elected officials serving between 1868 - 1876, at least seventy three individuals, more than one-forth, were affiliated with one or more of these institutions. Eighteen of these men served as state senators, congressmen, and executive officers. Futhermore, these institutions had a greater impact during the earlier period of the reconstruction period than the latter. Of the earlier convention delegates and Legislators, 43 individuals - more than thirty-seven percent of all negroes who served in those years - gained their formative experiences through one of more of these institutions". Leadership of the state of S.C. in 1868 was headed by Governor Robert K. Scott, Lieutenant Governor Lemuel Boozer; both men served during the Civil War, and Secretary of State Francis Lewis Cardoza, a Jewish Negro born in Charleston, S.C., the first to hold a statewide office in the U.S. As an ordained Presebyterian Minister, Francis L. Cadoza returned in 1865 to S.C. as an American Missionary Association (AMA) Agent charged with establishing schools for freedmen.  He was also the founder of the Avery Institution of Charleston, S.C., advocate on integrating the University of South Carolina, and granting land to the freedmen. These men took office effectively June 6, 1868 at the convening of the 1868 General Assembly.

 

 

S.C. Lieutenant  Governor Limuel Boozer.

 

S.C. Governor Robert K. Scott.

 

S.C. Secretary of  State  Francis L. Cardoza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dawn of a New Era Begins in S.C.  In June 1868, Griffin Holliman, along with Alfred Rush, Jordan Lang, and John Boston, were elected as Darlington District House of Representative Members, while John Lunnery* was elected Senator for Darlington District, as published in the Marion Star, December 1869. The election of these men served to usher in a new era of politics within S.C. and throughout the South, representing all men and women; black, white, poor, and rich.    Each representative was duly elected on June 2-3, 1868 in their district by voters as directed by Military Authority. Each had the distinction of being either Pastors - Benjamin F. Whittemore, Jordan Lang, and John Boston, or Deacons - Alfred Rush and Griffin Holliman.  Benjamin F. Whittemore held additional distinctions of serving in the Union Army as a Chaplain with the 30th Massachusetts Volunteers but also having been previously appointed Superintendent of Education, Military District of Eastern South Carolina.  *Denotes John Lunnery was replaced by Benjamin F. Whittemore in the Senate.

 

 

Representative John Boston.

 

 

Representative Alfred Rush.

 

Representative Griffin Holliman.

 

Representative Jordan Lang.

 

 

 

 

Senator  Benjamin F. Whittemore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1868 General Assembly Special Session. Youthful in desire but inexperienced in both political and financial matters, the newly appointed  representatives of the 48th General Assembly sought to address the ills of the new republic by first voting on the Bank of S.C. Closure which was largely attributed to the fact that most of the banks' assets were in confederate securities deemed worthless after the war.  Seen as a fore gone matter, the only issue was which of its creditors or investors would take lead in the dividing its holdings.  After a third reading on the matter, a motion was placed before the assembly to postpone the resolution for financial inquiry into the Bank of S.C. Upon reconvening, the assembly voted 29 - 39 (yea - nay) on this motion.

The second point of contention of the 1868 Special Session was civil rights for freedmen. Solidarity among negro representatives or republicans was without question noted.  However, white republicans, especially those representing upstate constituencies, were  generally opposed to civil rights legislations. When a bill prohibiting discrimination in all public accommodations was introduced during the said session, white republicans either abstained or voted against  the measure.  The bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Benjamin A. Boseman of Charleston, S.C. after several representatives were denied "equal accommodations or treatment" within the same public establishment as their white counterparts. The bill required for the repeal of a business' license or charter as a penalty of racial discrimination in public services or facilities, in addition, a $500 fine was levied, and twelve months imprisonment.  

 

Representative Benjamin A. Boozer.

Courtesy of Blackpast.org

Other measures presented during the civil rights portion of the special assembly of 1868 was the ratification of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, motion to indefinately postpone amendment to section 12 of Elections Bill, amend section 1 of the militia bill, a bill to tax Kershaw County in support of Representative George W. Dill's widow, - a white reconstructionist and republican assassinated on June 4, 1868 along with his negro bodyguard, a bill to extend time for county officers to qualify for offices, and a bill to postpone the office of County Prosecutor. Sadly to say, this titanic struggle over civil rights, especially those of equal rights and equal protection under the law, continued throughout the entirety of the first reconstruction period as well as subsequent reconstruction periods in our nation's history as well as today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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S.C. Fourty-Eighth General Assembly Legislative Career. The S.C. 48th General Assembly Legislative Career presided from 1868 - 1870 during which elected officials in both House of Representatives and Senate sponsored or supported bills addressing social equality, civil rights, funding for internal domestic programs, education, and much more.  A monumental task for that time period as well as today.

 

* The Social Equality Act of August 1868' outlawed discriminatory practices against freedmen in all businesses conducted within the state of

S.C. punishable by imprisonment -

 

The Social Equality Bill Notice of August 15, 1868.

Courtesy of the Charleston Daily News, Monday Morning, August 17, 1868

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Gold Bill of December 1869 - In accordance with the Public Credit Act of 1869, stated that bondholders who purchased bonds to help

 

finance the Civil War, 1861 - 1865, would be paid back in gold was signed on March 18, 1969.  This measure was a step to help alleviate 

 

the financial struggles faced by the U.S. after the war.  The passing of the Public Credit Act of 1869 by Congress was the first 

 

definitive piece of legislation signifying the U.S. was officially reinstating the gold standard which took effect in 1875. -

 

 

 

The Gold Bill Notice of December 11, 1869.

Courtesy of the Anderson Intelligencer, Anderson, S.C., December 23, 1869

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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* Removal of Political Disabilities - Presented petition on behalf of J.A. Stephens of Darlington for removal of his political disabilities, i.e.,

 

his unfavorable action - rebellion or insurrection-against the United States Government prior to and during the Civil War, prohibiting him

 

from eligibility for government employment, required two-third votes of each House, as stated in the 14th Amendment - Section 3 of the U.S.

 

Constitution for removal.  This application or petition was later collected by the Select Committee on Reconstruction, established in 1867.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petition notice on behalf of J.A. Stephens of Darlington for removal of his political disabilities.

Courtesy of the Charleston Daily News, January 8, 1869, Friday, Second Edition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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* The mode of electing Clerks of Courts, Sheriffs, and Probate Judges Bill - Dated March 1869 established the criteria by which each office would be filled - election by qualified voters -

 

 

 

Bill Notice - mode of electing Clerks of Courts, Sheriffs, and Probate Judges.

Courtesy of Yorkville Enquirer, March 4, 1869, York, S.C.

 

 

* The Social Equality Enforcement Bill of January 1870 to enforce the provisions of the Civil Rights Bill of the U.S. Congress and to 

 

secure for "all" people the benefits of a republican government in the state of South Carolina -

 

Social Equality Enforcement Bill Notice of January 20, 1870 - introduction (left) and vote (right).

Courtesy of the Charleston Daily News, Monday Morning, January 31, 1870

 

 

 

 

 

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* Education  -  Lastly, the S.C. Fourty-Eighth General Assembly endorsed the matriculation of black students to the University of South Carolina such as R. Marcus DuBose on December 10, 1869 to S.C. Governor Scott, for approval, by Darlington District House of Representative Members.  In addition to the integration of the state's flagship university, the 1868 Constitution was amended to include compulsory education for all youth; black, white, rich, or poor. As noted in the History of South Carolina Volume II Series , this was the first time in her history, the state of SC had both constitutional and legal provisions instituted for an adequate school system.

 

 

 

 

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