Slobot About Town CVII:

Occupy Columbia!

As Slobot stood in the shadows of spires he realized that he must have been in the Holy City - Charleston, South Carolina!

Behind Slobot sprung a spire, a spire that stands as the 4th tallest building in all of Charleston. The spire was added to the St. Philip's Episcopal Church in 1850.

Buried in the West Churchyard of St. Philip's are the remains of that famous South Carolinian, John Caldwell Calhoun.

John C. Calhoun would be born in Abbeville, SC on March 18, 1782. Calhoun would begin a storied political career upon his election to the House of Representatives in 1810. Calhoun would serve in that chamber until 1817, when President James Monroe would tap Calhoun to serve as Secretary of War.

Presidents John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and Andrew Jackson (1829-1832) would choose Calhoun to serve as Vice President. Calhoun's enduring fame, however, would largely stem from his conflicts with the Jackson Administration, conflicts that would lead Calhoun to resign in 1832. Calhoun would, save a short stint as Secretary of State under President Tyler, serve the remainder of his days in the U.S. Senate. Calhoun would die of tuberculosis in Washington, DC on March 31, 1850.

Calhoun's first book, Disquisition on Government, would be published posthumously.

Calhoun would originally be buried in the West Churchyard of St. Philips' Episcopal Church in 1850. During the Civil War, however, his remains would be relocated to the East Churchyard so that they would remain unmolested by Federal Troops. Today Calhoun is again at rest in the West Churchyard, his remains sheltered by a massive tomb erected in 1880.

From St. Philips' Episcopal Church Slobot would stumble south to...

Saint Michael's Episcopal Church!

St. Michael's would be built between 1751 and 1761 and buried here are famous South Carolinians like Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1746-1825).

Pinckney would sign the U.S. Constitution and serve as U.S. Minister to France.

Pinckney's neighbor in the Saint Michael's cemetery is John Rutledge. John Rutledge would serve as the first governor of the then newly independent state of South Carolina. Rutledge would also serve as both Associate and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Rutledge, like Pinckney, would sign the United States Constitution, doing so on September 17, 1787.

Of South Carolina's four signers of the Constitution, only Pierce Butler is not buried in South Carolina. He rests in peace in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

From St. Michael's Episcopal Church Slobot made his way inland. Slobot soon found himself at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, SC.

In the Trinity Episcopal cemetery Slobot discovered the eternal resting place of famous South Carolinian James Francis Byrnes.

James F. Byrnes may have been born in Charleston, SC on May 02, 1882, but he would win a seat in the U.S. Senate while living in Spartanburg in 1930. Byrnes would serve in the Senate until 1941 when he would be nominated by President Franklin Roosevelt to the U.S. Supreme Court. Byrnes, a confidant of President Roosevelt, would later be picked by that president to lead the War Mobilization Board. In 1945 Roosevelt would again nominate Byrnes, this time to lead the State Department. While serving as Secretary of State, in 1946, Byrnes would be named Time magazine's Man of the Year. Byrnes would conclude his public service as Governor of South Carolina (1951-1955). Byrnes would die at the ripe old age of 92 in Columbia on April 09, 1972.

Also resting in the St. Michael's Episcopal Church cemetery is Wade Hampton III. Wade Hampton would side with, and fight for, the Confederacy during the American Civil War. By that war's end Hampton would find himself promoted to the rank of lieutenant general.

Slobot's friend, the Captain, would be quick to tell you of how, in 1867, Hampton would become South Carolina's first Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. Hampton would run for governor in 1876 and, in that election, his supporters - the Redshirts - would practice violence in order to defraud the election. Hampton would serve as Governor until his resignation in 1879. Hampton would die in Columbia on April 11, 1902.

A statue in his honor would be erected on the State House grounds in 1906.

Also honored on the State House grounds is Strom Thurmond. James Strom Thurmond would be born in 1902 in Edgefield, SC. He would serve in the Battle of Normandy during World War II and, in 1946, be elected Governor of South Carolina. In 1948 Strom Thurmond would run for president as a States' Rights Democrat (AKA "Dixiecrat") and go on to win four states, all this despite his anti-integration stance and casual use of "the n-word." Thurmond would, in 1956, win a seat in the U.S. Senate, a seat he would hold until 2003. While serving in the Senate Thurmond would deliver a record 24 hour 18 minute filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

This made it all the more strange when, in the wake of his 2003 death at the age of 100, it would be revealed that he had sired a mixed-race child when he was a young man of 22. The mother of that child, Carrie "Tunch" Butler, had worked as a maid in Thurmond's parents' home. Strom's hitherto secret love child, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, would have her name added to the Strom Thurmond memorial...

one can even see where "four children" has been altered to say "five children" and where Essie Mae's name has been added to the list of Thurmond's children.

Behind the statue of Strom stood the South Carolina State House. Its construction would begin in 1854 but would not be completed until after the Civil War.

The State House would be lightly damaged by cannon fire during Sherman's march through the Carolinas.

On the north side of the State House Slobot spotted some strange activity.

Slobot stood in line hoping to get a clue...

soon Slobot and his friend, The Captain, realized...

that they were part of Occupy Columbia!

Slobot would like to thank St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Saint Michael's Episcopal Church, the Captain, Occupy Columbia and YOU!