Abolition Rally

Celebration of the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia by the Colored People, in Washington, April 19, 1866. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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



Timelines can help you think about the events in South Carolina and other southern states during Reconstruction.

In Their Own Words


  • Robert Brown Elliott
    Robert Elliott was an African American U.S. Representative from 1871-1874.
  • Wade Hampton III
    Wade Hampton was the governor of South Carolina from 1877-1879 and a U.S. Senator. He was the first Democrat elected in South Carolina since the end of the Civil War, and his election in part signified the end of Reconstruction.
  • Joseph Hayne Rainey
    Joseph Rainey was the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Benjamin R. Tillman
    Ben Tillman was the governor of South Carolina from 1890-194 who founded what is now Clemson University, regulated the railroads, and helped write a constitution designed to disenfranchise African American citizens with Jim Crow laws.
  • Justice Jonathan Jasper Wright
    Justice Wright was the first African American to practice law in South Carolina.



  • 40 Acres and a Mule
    Learn about General Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15.
  • The Ku Klux Klan
    Learn about the beginnings and history of the extremist organization that was created in 1865 and attempted to restore white supremacy by threats and violence.
  • Pirates, Plankton, & Pelicans
    Explore a replica of a schooner that was originally built by the Samuel J. Pregnall & Bros. Shipyard Shipyard in Charleston in 1879.
  • 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.
  • Mt. Carmel AME Zion Church Campmeetings
    Religious campmeetings have been held at this historic site since the late 1860s.