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.
After 140 years, all eight citizens who died during the Hamburg Massacre have been recognized. Their names are listed on a granite memorial, installed in front of the new historical marker.
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)
Since 2008 my original Wikipedia article has passed through many hands, gained some interesting facts, and lost quite a bit of cohesion. This is mostly a repeat of the original, FWIW.
The Hamburg Massacre (or Hamburg Riot) was a key event of South Carolina Reconstruction. The racially motivated incident grew out of a dispute on July 4, 1876 when a company of black militia marched down the main street in Hamburg. Two white farmers tried to ride through the ranks. It ended four days later with the with the death of seven men. [An eighth death has recently been confirmed.] The Massacre launched the furious 1876 Democratic campaign for South Carolina’s ‘Redemption’, leading to the downfall of Reconstruction and nearly a century of “Jim Crow” denial of civil rights.
At long last, at 2:00 PM on Sunday March 6, 2016, the Heritage Council of North Augusta will dedicate the historical marker to the Hamburg Massacre. This will be in front of the Society Building in the Carrsville neighborhood, at the corner of Barton and Boylan streets. This is near First Providence Baptist Church, 315 Barton Road. Alongside the Hamburg Massacre marker will be a stone monument engraved with eight names: names of the men that died as a result of the events of July 8, 1876.
The public is invited to attend. Following the dedication, there will be a reception in the old sanctuary of First Providence and the opportunity to go into the Society Building. Then, at 4:00 p.m., a panel discussion will be held at First Providence: “Why Hamburg Still Matters.” Confirmed panelists include Stephen Budiansky (author of The Bloody Shirt), Dr. Leann Caldwell of AU, and Professor Jonathan Bryant of Georgia Southern University.
After the 1929 floods, Hamburg residents relocated to this area, and the
Society Building is believed to have been taken apart and moved here at that time. Providence Baptist Church, organized in Hamburg in 1860, raised their original Carrsville sanctuary in 1930.
Under a Senate resolution 5/6 Dec 1876, the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections appointed a subcommittee of three members to visit the State of South Carolina: Angus Cameron (WI), Isaac P. Christiancy (MI), and Augustus Summerfield Merrimon (NC). This subcommittee took testimony in Columbia in December and January and produced a three volume report that is the only place where both sides got to tell their story.
Columbia, S.C., July 12, 1876.
SIR: — According to your request of Monday last, I have visited Hamburg for the purpose of ascertaining the facts connected with the killing of several men there on the night of the 8th of July.
My information has been derived chiefly from Trial-Justice Rivers, and from the testimony of persons who have been examined before the coroner’s jury now in session, and from those who received wounds from the armed body of white men who had taken them prisoners. From this information the following facts seem to be clearly established: