The People, Places, & Stories of the American Revolution in SC
With over 400+ battles, skirmishes, and events of bloodshed in South Carolina during the American Revolution, SC had more events than almost any other state. Every county in SC has people, places, ideas, and stories to help share this story. The SC American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission (SC250) encourages each County 250 Committee to rediscover all of the American Revolution assets in their community.
- Best Practices:
- Start with a list of known American Revolution historical sites, people, and stories from your county.
- While battles sites are, of course, important, don't forget to include people, places, ideas, and stories that also impacted this Revolutionary Era. From the church where the preacher's fiery sermons bolstered the Partisan spirit to the local teenager girl who delivered dispatches.
- Check with your local historians.
- Review books like Parker’s Guide to the Revolutionary War in South Carolina.
- One helpful website is carolana.com/SC/Revolution/home.html where events can be sorted by county.
- Ask the public if they have documents, stories, or legends from the American Revolution period. A local press release or social media post requesting the information is a great way to gather interested parties and the committee may get some amazing items and/or family stories.
- If citizens do bring forward heirlooms, have a plan to protect them and return them if requested. Any items donated to local museums or other entities should be documented per their acquisition policy.
- Don’t forget to look for stories outside those traditionally told in textbooks. The American Revolution goes far beyond the battlefield. It was about the material culture of the time, radical ideas, and people torn apart.
- Historic Archeology
- Once you have a list of assets, SC250 is very interested in seeing historical and archeological research done to ensure that the location and story are accurate.
- Assistance with archeology could be what you apply for in a grant. Contact SC250 with questions.
- According to Legend
- Sometimes documentation no longer exists, these stories should always be listed as “According to legend.”
- We can also look at why the story captured the imagination of the community and was retold. This in itself can be important and help us understand our ancestors.
- There is a grant for this!
- Those County 250 Committees who would like to dig deep, can apply for a County Asset Assessment & Tourism Plan Grant. Look for this grant to launch soon.
- Grant requirements:
- 50/50 matching payment for services
- Be submitted by the official County 250 Committee, named for the first de facto SC government.
- Study scope should include but not be limited to:
- Survey of County assets including Revolutionary Era people, places, events, and ideas.
- Assistance with getting any sites listed on SC ArchSite and with SC’s SIAA (State Institute for Archeology & Anthropology) and SHPO (State Historic Preservation Office).
- Indicate file nominations for National Register Listings.
- Recommendations regarding archeological studies and asset increased visibility, improvements & protection, and on-site interpretation.
- Local plan for monetizing historic tourism around these sites, people, and themes.
Showcasing Your Assets
- Now that you know what American Revolution sites, stories, and people your county needs to showcase, it is time to incorporate them into your celebration plans.
- Create an American Revolution Trail for your county or with an adjacent county. (Check out Laurens County’s trail plan: Cover Sheet & Trail Map)
- Remember to create a training program for your volunteers.
- Don't forget to plan the dollars, staff, and time to market your programs and sites. See the Tourism Tips page.
- There are several SC250 grants for this! – Look for these grants to be launched soon.
- Apply for a Museum Style Panel Grant where you tell these stories you have been collecting. Maybe the local museum is the perfect spot, but your committee can also consider other high-traffic buildings with public access that might be a great fit for a display panel or exhibit.
- Apply for a Signage Grant. Do you have interpretive signs that need updating or brand new ones that need to go up? Do you have 18th-century roads that need signage? Consider this grant.
- Apply for a Site Grant for American Revolution Site Acquisition and Development.
- Apply for a Publication Grant to update a Battleground Guide.
- Visit the SC250 Grants tab on SouthCarolina250.com for more.