McKie Meriwether Obelisk Denounced

According to recent news reports, this monument has come before the North Augusta City Council. The audacious sentiments carved upon it glorify the Hamburg Massacre, an ugly racial incident that paved the way for a century-long Jim Crow regime in South Carolina.

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Schultz Hill Cemetery

Hamburg burials came up during the recent talk in Edgefield. I think many people have heard about a Hamburg cemetery in North Augusta, somewhere behind ‘the auto glass place’. Schultz Hill Cemetery does exist, and yes it is kind of behind Sunny Solutions Window Tinting.

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Sign at the end of the driveway from Carolina Springs Road, with Brad Cunningham who over many years has made something happen at the Bedford Cemetery in Augusta.

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Duke Bernhard’s 1825 Visit

Lafayette’s 1824-1825 ‘Friend of the Nation’ tour of America was the most sensational event of the decade. Lafayette went out of his way to pass through almost every state of the Union, in a giant loop starting in the Northeast, through the South, to New Orleans, upriver to St. Louis, and up the Ohio back to where he started. Crowds cheered him wildly at every place along the way. Lafayette, refusing no invitation, probably shook almost that many hands. He visited Hamburg and Augusta, unfortunately his secretary’s record is skimpy. Of course most of their journals were lost months later in the Ohio River when their riverboat hit a snag and sank in the middle of the night.

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Cotton to Charleston

Augusta existed to collect cotton, and get the cotton to a seaport. The most available seaport for Augusta was Savannah, 231 river miles away. Hamburg existed to collect cotton, Augusta’s cotton if possible, and get the cotton to a South Carolina seaport. That was Hamburg’s drumbeat, to keep South Carolina commerce at home, which was part of the deal for support from the state legislature. So Hamburg boats routinely sailed right past Savannah, and beat their way another 101 miles behind the sea islands to Charleston.

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Steamboat and Rail routes from Hamburg to Savannah. The sea islands route from Savannah to Charleston is only my guess. From 1833 Tanner Map of SC, Library of Congress rr002990

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Dock Adams’ Amazing Testimony

Dock Adams was captain of the militia company during the Hamburg Massacre. His testimony covers 40 pages of South Carolina in 1876, the report of the Senate investigation. This is as close as we can get to what the citizens of Hamburg went through that night.

It’s no easier to read than anything else that has to do with the massacre. But this is Dock’s voice, and his actions that night reveal a character of leadership and enterprise that is confirmed by other testimonies.

Read SC in 1876 – Dock Adams (PDF)