George Washington Clark
|41st Mayor of Charleston|
|Preceded by||Milton Cogswell|
|Succeeded by||Gilbert Pillsbury|
|Died||May 22,1898 63) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Sara Robinson Clark (1855–95)|
|Children||Eleanor G.A. Clark Speer (d. 1918);Edith K.O. Clark (1881–1936);Clifford Robinson Clark (1882–1918)|
|Alma mater||Wabash College|
George Washington Clark was the forty-first mayor of Charleston,South Carolina,serving from 1868 until 1869 when the South Carolina Supreme Court confirmed the validity of the election he lost to Gilbert Pillsbury.
Clark was born on December 26,1834,in Indiana;married Sara Robinson;and died on May 22,1898,in Washington,D.C. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Clark was appointed colonel of the 34th Iowa Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. He led his regiment during the Vicksburg Campaign,Battle of Brownsville,and Battle of Fort Blakely. He was in command of a brigade at the siege of Fort Morgan during the Battle of Mobile Bay.
Clark was appointed mayor by General E.R.S. Canby,commander of the Second Military District,on July 6,1868. Following an election that same year against Gilbert Pillsbury,he refused to leave office.In March 1869,Pillsbury arrived at City Hall and demanded that Clark surrender his office. When Clark refused (he claimed that the statehouse had lacked authority to adopt laws about the local elections),Pillsbury sought an arrest warrant,which was issued. On March 5,1869,Clark was arrested on the misdemeanor charge of continuing to hold office in spite of the statehouse's recent vote. Clark arrived at the magistrate's office and,with the backing of business leaders,posted a $3000 recognizance bond and left.
Finally,after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled against him in an election dispute,in May 1869,he was replaced by Pillsbury in office.
Alfred Howe Terry was a Union general in the American Civil War and the military commander of the Dakota Territory from 1866 to 1869 and again from 1872 to 1886. In 1865,Terry led Union troops to victory at the Second Battle of Fort Fisher in North Carolina.
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Robert Smalls was an American politician,publisher,businessman,and maritime pilot. Born into slavery in Beaufort,South Carolina,he freed himself,his crew,and their families during the American Civil War by commandeering a Confederate transport ship,CSS Planter,in Charleston harbor,on May 13,1862,and sailing it from Confederate-controlled waters of the harbor to the U.S. blockade that surrounded it. He then piloted the ship to the Union-controlled enclave in Beaufort–Port Royal–Hilton Head area,where it became a Union warship. His example and persuasion helped convince President Abraham Lincoln to accept African-American soldiers into the Union Army.
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This article examines South Carolina's history with an emphasis on the lives,status,and contributions of African Americans. Enslaved Africans first arrived in the region in 1526,and the institution of slavery remained until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Until slavery's abolition,the free black population of South Carolina never exceeded 2%. Beginning during the Reconstruction Era,African Americans were elected to political offices in large numbers,leading to South Carolina's first majority-black government. Toward the end of the 1870s however,the Democratic Party regained power and passed laws aimed at disenfranchising African Americans,including the denial of the right to vote. Between the 1870s and 1960s,African Americans and whites lived segregated lives;people of color and whites were not allowed to attend the same schools or share public facilities. African Americans were treated as second-class citizens leading to the civil rights movement in the 1960s. In modern America,African Americans constitute 22% of the state's legislature,and in 2014,the first African American U.S. Senator since Reconstruction,Tim Scott,was elected. In 2015,the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina Statehouse after the Charleston church shooting.
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Prior to the civil rights movement in South Carolina,African Americans in the state had very few political rights. South Carolina briefly had a majority-black government during the Reconstruction era after the Civil War,but with the 1876 inauguration of Governor Wade Hampton III,a Democrat who supported the disenfranchisement of blacks,African Americans in South Carolina struggled to exercise their rights. Poll taxes,literacy tests,and intimidation kept African Americans from voting,and it was virtually impossible for someone to challenge the Democratic Party,which ran unopposed in most state elections for decades. By 1940,the voter registration provisions written into the 1895 constitution effectively limited African-American voters to 3,000—only 0.8 percent of those of voting age in the state.
From December 1876 to April 1877,both the Republican and Democratic parties in South Carolina claimed to be the legitimate government. Both parties declared that the other party had lost the election and that they controlled the governorship,the state legislature,and most state offices. Both governments debated and passed laws,created militias,collected taxes,and conducted other businesses as if the other government did not exist. Ultimately,after four months of having a disputed government,Daniel Henry Chamberlain,who claimed the governorship as a Republican,conceded to Democrat Wade Hampton III on April 11,1877 after President Rutherford Hayes withdrew federal troops from the South.