Radical Members of the First Legislature after the War, South Carolina, 1878. Image from the Library of Congress.

Meet black legislators, sharecroppers, and white farm owners who rebuilt the South after the Civil War.


Going to School

African Americans in South Carolina were allowed to get formal education for the first time.

  • Penn School
    Watch this video to learn more about this school for freed slaves started at the beginning of the Civil War.
  • Avery Normal Institute
    Started in 1865, the Avery Normal Institute was one of the first secondary or high schools in Charleston.


Maps & Transportation

People & Places

  • East Bay Street in Charleston, c. 1870s
    This stereograph of a busy street in Charleston shows how people traveled and what the buildings looked like in the 1870s.
  • Radical Members of the First Legislature after the War
    During Reconstruction, the new black voters were able to send so many African American representatives to the state assembly that they outnumbered the whites.
  • Freedman's Bureau, Beaufort SC
    This gathering of people in front of the Freedmen's Bureau in Beaufort lets you examine the clothing, hats, and transportation of the people who are waiting.
  • Wade Hampton III
    Wade Hampton was the governor of South Carolina at the end of Reconstruction when the federal troops left the state in 1877.
  • Woodrow Wilson Family Home
    Take a virtual tour of the Columbia home built in 1872 that was home to a teenage Woodrow Wilson, who would later become the 28th president of the United States.