Expansion and Reform

John C. Calhoun

 Portrait of John C. Calhoun by Arthur E. Schmalz Conrad. Image courtesy of the United States Senate.

Learn more about the plantation system, politics, and culture of antebellum South Carolina.


  • William Gregg
    William Gregg was the founder of the Graniteville Company, an early cotton mill in Aiken County.
  • Robert Wilson Gibbes
    Robert Gibbs was a physician and naturalist that wrote paleontology articles on marine fossils found in South Carolina.
  • William Johnson, Jr.
    William Johnson was a U.S. Supreme Court Justice from Charleston who served from 1804 to 1834.

Wars & Politics


Culture & Agriculture

See also the section on Slavery for more information about slavery and the plantation system.

Higher Education

Advertisement for the Greenville Female College, Charleston Mercury, 1864.

For much of the early 1800s, the General Assembly refused to grant charters to schools competing with the South Carolina College in Columbia, SC. Several denominational schools such as Erskine, Furman, and Wofford were founded throughout the state during 1830-1860. Women could attend “finishing schools” until the first women’s colleges opened in the 1850s.

Colleges established in South Carolina before the Civil War

College of CharlestonCharleston1770
University of South CarolinaColumbia1801
Medical University of South CarolinaCharleston1824
Furman UniversityGreenville1826
Lutheran Theological Southern SeminaryColumbia1830
Erskine Theological SeminaryDue West1837
Erskine CollegeDue West1839
The CitadelCharleston1842
Limestone CollegeGaffney1845
Columbia CollegeColumbia1854
Wofford CollegeSpartanburg1854
Newberry CollegeNewberry1856