Composite Photograph of Delegates to the South Carolina Constitutional Convention, 1895



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In the nearly twenty years since the end of Reconstruction, racial tensions continued to dominate life in the state of South Carolina.  The state had functioned under the Constitution of 1868, which had guaranteed the vote for both white and black men.  In the 1890s when Ben Tillman came to power, the Tillmanites called for a new state constitution that effectively eliminated the black vote.  In 1895, 160 county representatives met to create the document.  Many of them can be seen in this composite portrait.  Though the majority of these men were white, there were African-American representatives (three of whom are in the picture, numbers 7, 151, and 152).  While African-American delegates and some white delegates spoke out against provisions of the new constitution, their efforts were not enough to stop the ratification of the 1895 Constitution.  This constitution is also note-worthy as it shifted power from the Lowcountry to the Upstate, reestablished county governments, and denied women the right to vote.  


“Composite Photograph of the Delegates.”  Photograph.  Constitutional Convention (1895).  S131089.  South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina. 

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 3-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the major developments in South Carolina in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century.   

Indicator 3-5.2 Summarize the effects of the state and local laws that are commonly known as Jim Crow laws on African Americans in particular and on South Carolinians as a whole.

Standard 5-1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of Reconstruction and its impact on racial relations in the United States.

Indicator 5-1.3 Explain the effects of Reconstruction on African Americans, including their new rights and restrictions, their motivations to relocate to the North and the West, and the actions of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Indicator 5-1.5 Explain the purpose and motivations behind the rise of discriminatory laws and groups and their effect on the rights and opportunities of African Americans in different regions of the United States.

Standard 8-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of major social, political, and economic developments that took place in the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Indicator 8-5.1 Summarize the political, economic, and social conditions in South Carolina following the end of Reconstruction, including the leadership of Wade Hampton and the so-called Bourbons or Redeemers, agricultural depression and struggling industrial development, the impact of the temperance and suffrage movements, the development of the 1895 constitution, and the evolution of race relations and Jim Crow laws.

Indicator 8-5.2 Compare key aspects of the Populist movement in South Carolina, including the economic and political roots of Populism, the leadership of Benjamin
Tillman, conflicts between the Tillmanites and the Conservatives, the founding of land-grant colleges, and the increased racial conflicts and lynching.

Related Documents:

John Gary Evans Correspondence, 1895-1896

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