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.
Learn what happened when the Civil war ended in April of 1865.
- SCIWAY-Reconstruction and Restoration
Learn more about how people lived in South Carolina after the Civil War.
- A Visual Timeline of Reconstruction: 1865-1877
See a timeline of Reconstruction, from the Emancipation Proclamation to federal troops leaving the South.
- Reconstruction and Its Aftermath
Look at pictures and photographs of the lives of African Americans in southern states.
- Reconstruction: State By State (South Carolina)
Can you see how the state changed between 1860 and 1870?
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.
- Hewn-Timber Cabins: African-American Life in Rural South Carolina
Explore the lives of African Americans who lived in these two wooden cabins in Florence County.
- Contract between Henry A. Middleton and Freedmen, February 1868
This contract between H.A. Middleton and over a hundred freedmen from 1868 outlines the conditions under which the freedmen will work for Middleton at Weehaw Plantation
- Freedmen's Bureau (1865-1872)
The Freedmen's Bureau was a federal agency in the southern states to help former slaves, including providing emergency food and housing and helping the freedmen adjust to their conditions of freedom.
- Jim Crow Laws
In 1870 many Southern states created laws that limited African American's rights.
Maps & Transportation
- Bird's Eye View of the City of Columbia, SC 1872
See what the capital city looked like in 1872.
- 1859 Railroad Timetable
See where and when you could go by train in 1859. Could you easily travel from your hometown to other cities?
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.