The long-awaited story of the heart of the Midlands represents many facets of South Carolina's rich heritage. Spanning a period of two hundred fifty years, the tale begins with the onset of European settlement on the east bank of the Congaree and continues to the final decade of the twentieth century. This period encompasses several wars, one of them bringing profound consequences in its wake, as well as flush times of high cotton and harsh seasons when crops withered and died. Columbia—a two-mile grid of wide streets laid out in the wilderness to welcome a functioning bureaucracy—indeed had a unique birth. Richland County's captial city was born in compromise in 1786 and has spent much of its lifetime balancing contending forces—rural and urban, farm and factory, mountain and coastal.
The story that John Hammond Moore weaves is based on family papers, reminiscences, institutional histories, census returns, local newspaper files, and documents, both official and unofficial. Moore has told his story in a unique way. In introducing each of the five chronological sections, he has selected one individual to represent that particular era of the region's history and organized the narrative around that person. A founding father, a plantation mistress, a black politician, an editor, and a mayor are only a few of the fascinating individuals one meets in the pages of this volume. Columbia & Richland County: A South Carolina Community will surely stand for many years as the definitive history of South Carolina's heartland.
John Hammond Moore has been associated with South Carolina for more than four decades—first as a Navy quartermaster in World War II, then as a history teacher at Winthrop College, and most recently as a writer-researcher on the staff of the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina. He holds an A.B. degree from Hamilton College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia. He has compiled guides to research in South Carolina and to the newspapers of the state, edited two books dealing with South Carolina in the late nineteenth century, and written a history of the state highway department.