Sunday, August 30, 2015

Economic crises and Christ's redemption

Tyre harbour
Tyre harbor today (Wikipedia)
 This is the third of three posts about the global economic crisis. In previous posts, Global economies and God's glory and Global economic forces and God's purposes, we saw how the prophet Isaiah uses Tyre and Sidon as an example to show that the financial systems of world powers are under God's sovereignty for His glory and purposes. In this post, Isaiah shows that God's control of financial systems points to the redemption found only in His Son Jesus Christ (Isa. 23:15-18).
Financial systems globally are in turmoil, this time in response to  currency devaluations and slowdowns in the Chinese economy, the world's largest. But the prophet Isaiah, who deals with financial downturn across the system as a result of the decline of the commercial heavyweights Tyre and Sidon, shows us good news from Isaiah 23:15-18. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Global economic forces and God's purposes

The Triumphal Arch in Tyre, Lebanon
Tyre's Triumphal Arch (Wikipedia)
This the second of three posts on the global financial difficulties. In the first post, Global economies and God's glory, we saw how the prophet Isaiah uses Tyre and Sidon as an example to show that the financial systems of world powers are under God's sovereignty for His glory. In this post, Isaiah shows that God's control of financial systems is for His purposes

We are in the midst of a lot of global economic changes. We are hearing in the media about what the experts call a "correction." Does the Word of God have anything to say about global economies? Yes, in fact, Isaiah 23 tells us that the Lord uses global economic forces to bring forth His purposes (Isa. 23:10-14)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Global economics and God's glory

Satellite caption of the Mediterranean Sea.Image via Wikipedia
The Mediterranean: Tyre controlled the seas
This is the first of three posts on the economic mayhem going on across the globe. Tune in for the next two in order to get a full picture. 

All economies make corrections from time to time. We are experiencing another one. Hopefully, it is not a catastrophic correction. Our world's economies are more interconnected now than ever. As Greece teeters near default, the European Union shudders at the ramifications of yet another bailout. When China devalued it currency again recently, shock waves are being felt across stock exchanges and global food and petroleum markets. 

What is happening? Is what we hear in the media accurate? Is this shakeup what they say, just a correction, or is it the precursor to a major global financial collapse? Does the Bible have anything to say about global economic forces? Yes, in fact, Isaiah does. 
Isaiah's oracle of judgment in chapter 23 of his prophetic work is about Tyre, the wealthy Phoenician seaport on the Mediterranean coast north of Israel. Just as Babylon was the world land power (chapter 21), so Tyre was the world sea power (chapter 23). Isaiah predicts the harbor will be destroyed and its greatness end. Isaiah's main idea in chapters 13-27 is that every culture on earth will surely bear the judgment of God one day, pointing to the return of Christ.

Isaiah says several things in chapter 23 of his prophetic work. The first is the truth that Isaiah gives in Isaiah 23:1-9 is that the Lord uses global economic forces to bring forth His glory (Isaiah 23:9).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Laurens County (SC) living in 1872

Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues with life in 1872 Laurens County.
Clinton (SC) Presbyterian Church built 1855
         As Laurens County, SC, dealt with the Conspiracy Arrests in 1872, the doctrine of human depravity continued to show itself elsewhere in the county as well. The Laurensville town council warned robin shooters in March, 1872, that because of careless and reckless shooting, the ordinance against discharge of firearms would be strictly enforced. Also the corncrib of the widow Mrs. Minerva Dial was robbed of twenty‑ five bushels and her house of a sum of money. These were days when, "it is necessary in these times to sleep with one eye open, and your shot gun well loaded."

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Primer on South Carolina's Reconstruction

A view of SC's Reconstruction General Assembly
Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues with a primer on SC Reconstruction history. 

In order to better understand Laurens County’s role in South Carolina Reconstruction history, a short overview of Reconstruction across the state may be helpful.

After the Confederacy fell in April 1865, SC Governor A.G. Magrath was removed by the victors and sent to Federal prison. U.S. President Andrew Johnson, who was taught to read and write in Laurens County many years earlier by a young sweetheart, pardoned most of those who had taken part in the war. He also appointed Benjamin F. Perry of Greenville as provisional governor. Perry was a Unionist who had opposed both nullification and secession, but he also held the respect of many South Carolinians. Perry immediately

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Laurens and Clinton Conspiracy Trials

Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues with the 1872 Conspiracy trials in response to the Laurens Riot of 1870. 
The prisoners from Laurens and Clinton lived quite a hard life in the Columbia jail. They were attended by the Presbyterians of Columbia, "and representatives from almost every class of the old regime kept dropping in upon us." Soon they were hailed as moral heroes instead of alleged Ku Klux prisoners. In four weeks in prison, they never had the prison food. Instead, they were brought food from the outside. The prisoners ate better than boarders in "any hotel in Columbia."[1] 

On their first Sunday in prison, the local Columbia ladies brought "turkey and roast pork with all the necessary trimmings, rice, chicken salad, tea and coffee, etc." Dr. William Swan Plumer brought "the largest tin bucket in his hand with 'soup for the prisoners.'" Colonel John S. Preston sent them "a ten gallon keg of beer, which was opened and enjoyed by all."[2] 
           There was a continuous stream of visitors, among them many ministers. They received two sermons on Sunday and nightly devotions from local pastors, one of them the prominent Presbyterian theologian Dr. Joseph Ruggles Wilson, father of future U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. As a result of the Christian devotional visits to the prison, “a gentleman of high standing, who, before his imprisonment, seldom attended church, and was rather sceptical in his views, [finally repented and found salvation in Christ Jesus.] A few weeks after his liberation, he appeared before the session of the Presbyterian Church of Laurens on a profession of faith, and has since become a Ruling Elder and one of the pillars of the church.”[3]

            The prisoners' jailor once lived in Laurens and worked for R.P. Todd. "He knew most of us personally," wrote J.N. Wright, and he offered to take a few of them out at night "for an airing." "We slipped out when the jail had become quiet‑‑ten or eleven o'clock P.M.‑‑and under the jailor's escort, we took in the city. He proposed to take us to the theater, hotel, or anywhere else we wanted to go." They steered clear of the College campus since J.N. Wright had been there in 1868 and might be recognized. They also avoided coming near the State Penitentiary since it was so ominous to their situation.[4]
            After a week in jail, the prisoners were marched down Main Street past the jeers of the base people on the street, to the office of U.S. Commissioner Albert M. Boozer, who oversaw the circuit and district courts in the federal Military District of South Carolina. John Leland describes the scene. "The room . . . was well supplied with chairs, but these were all filled by greasy wenches, who sat there to enjoy the spectacle of white men brought to grief."[5] It was April 8th, and Commissioner Boozer was present as
 a mere tool of Joe Crews, without whose instructions he says nothing in these cases. Joe was sitting by his side and looking more like a culprit than any of those before him. Asked when they were ready for a trial, [John] Leland the spokesman said, "just now, and just here as we are anxious to learn what has brought us from our homes at this busy season to the jail in Columbia." After a whisper from Joe, Boozer replied, "but the government is not ready, and can't be for a week or more." With this encouraging information we were marched back in the same order, having contributed something to the fees of these officials, Marshalls and Commissioner. No other motive could be seen for the parade.[6]
Witnesses could be had to say anything at a price, and their testimonies made the trials the kangaroos they were. One colored man who had sought and found shelter during the aftermath of the Laurens and Clinton riots at the home of Dr. William Plumer Jacobs, pastor of the Clinton Presbyterian Church, testified that he himself heard Jacobs cuss the black race up and down and sent some mounted whites to kill [Black SC General Assemblyman] Wade Perrin at Martin's Depot. Thankfully, the court did not receive the testimony against the Presbyterian pastor and future founder of Thornwell Orphanage, and Presbyterian College.[7]
Some of the evidence was marvelous. For instance, one witness swore that he saw Maj. Leland standing at the public well on the South side of the Court House (near where the Confederate monument now is) kill a certain man in Robertson's delivery stable. Col. [William Dunlap] Simpson, our Attorney, made a diagram of the grounds and showed that the bullet would have to go under or over or through the wooden building that stood where the Simmons Building now stands, or at almost a right angle, take the alley between that building and the next one to it, and after passing through the alley, make another right angle to the left to reach the stable. The evidence was accepted. Colonel Simpson appealed to the Commissioner to strike out the evidence as it was utterly impossible for that to be done, and when the commissioner said he would accept the evidence, he gathered up his papers and hat, and turning to the prisoners said if that kind of evidence was to be allowed against us, he could do nothing for us at this state of the case and may the Lord help us. The Commissioner threatened to have him arrested for contempt of court. He went to his hotel and came to see us after we got back to the jail.[8]
 After Simpson walked out of the hearing, a number of the prisoners were allowed to stay at a hotel close to the jail. Here Dr. Jacobs, pastor of the Clinton Presbyterian Church, preached to them of whom "a score . . . were members of my own church."[9]
One of the Clinton prisoners, Mark ‑‑‑, an ignorant foreigner who had come to Clinton after the riot, but just in time to be arrested, was placed in solitary confinement and restricted to bread and water. Marshal Hubbard starved him into swearing some statements against the Clinton prisoners which Mark would not divulge. At 4:00 on April 24, all eighteen were handcuffed and put on the train to the Charleston court.[10]
Most all the Laurens prisoners were released May 10 or 12, 1872, under $3,000 to $5,000 bond for a hearing in October.
            Some were transferred to Charleston: Leland, McCarley, R.R. Blakely, Cimeon Pearson, "and I think A.W. Teague." McCarley and Pearson were handcuffed together "but owing to the size of the Captain's wrist, the handcuff would not fasten. He told the U.S. Marshal that he “would hold it in his hand and would see that Pearson would not get away." Leland wrote his old friend, Stephen J. Field, a former classmate at Williams College, Massachusetts, then Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and gave him "a long Illiad of woes, beginning with my arrest, and ending with the scene in the courthouse. This letter secured the release of all of us a very short time afterwards."[11]
            Wright did not know if the letter to Fields did any good or whether they had "become tired of dragging men from their homes and families and convicting them on trumped up charges of murder."[12] In any case, they were released on mistrial and none of the cases were ever called.

[1]Leland, 101.
[2]Wright, 5, 6.
[3]Leland, 105;. 97: He adds that the Bible they used for devotions during their jail stay "is now deposited in the Presbyterian Church in Laurens, on the table under the pulpit, as a memorial of the troublous past." Wright, 6, says: Dr. Wilson preached to them, "the father of our great and beloved president of these United States."
[4]Wright, 5‑6.
[5]Leland, 108‑109, 111‑114.
[6]Leland, 108.
[7]Jacobs, Literary, 35‑36. The court did not take it as truth. Dr. Jacobs saw the man later. He said, "Aw, Dr. Jacobs, I knew they wouldn't believe me. I was just saying it in fun."
[8]Wright, 6. Leland, 109‑110: did not know about the riot until 2:00pm when parents of the girls at the college requested him to keep them there for safety.
[9]Jacobs, Literary, 20.
[10]Leland, 117. They did the same thing with one of the York prisoners. Leland adds, 121: "We heard from the Clinton delegation to‑day, and they informed us that they had rather a rough time of it going down [to Charleston.] After they had been paraded through the streets of Columbia, in handcuffs, they were locked up in the same car, with the colored witnesses against them, including the famous 'Ferguson.' Arrived in Charleston, they were marched a mile and a half through the streets to the 'House of Correction,' formerly known as the 'Sugar House.' But kind friends were awaiting their arrival, and they were faring now even more sumptuously than they had done in Columbia."
[11]Leland, 115‑116.
[12]Wright, 8. "I am still under bond in the sum of 3500.00 for any appearance at U.S. Court, Columbia, S.C., to answer to the charge of conspiracy and murder. The rest of the party have passed to the beyond."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Laurens County Conspiracy Arrests

The W.D. Simpson house in Laurens, SC,
as far as J.N. Wright ventured into Laurens
Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues with the response to the Laurens Riot of 1870 with the surprise Federal arrests of leading men in Laurens and Clinton at the end of March 1872.

Laurens County folk did not know what new things were in store for the New Year 1872, and it was to be a year to remember. The Laurensville Herald reported the local hunting news on March 1, 1872: 
"WILD CAT - A party of the chase‑loving gentlemen in the lower part of this District, a few days since, captured a well‑grown specimen of this primitive animal, on the plantation of Captain William Young, south fork of Duncan's Creek. More are supposed to be in the vicinity.

By the end of the month in Laurens County, some of these “chase-loving gentlemen” would themselves become the chased. And Joseph Crews would be the hunter. His long awaited revenge for the Laurens Riot and its aftermath was about to be unleashed.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Legal Fallout from the Laurens, SC, Riot

Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues, with a description of the legal fallout in the wake of the Laurens, SC, Riot of 1870Racial and political tensions in post-War South Carolina continued to boil over in the Upstate. The first round of arrests and trials began. Here is the story:

The fallout came quickly from the Laurens and Clinton Riots and the successive dark and violent days of 1870. In January 1871, several Laurens and Clinton men were arrested by the State Constabulary and indicted under the Enforcement Acts. 

They were hauled before the federal Grand Jury in Columbia. By blackmailing the wealthiest in the county, "it was thought that these gentlemen, with the prospect of the penitentiary immediately before them, would 'pay out' handsomely."

Monday, July 06, 2015

Joseph Crews' escape from Laurens, SC

Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues with the aftermath and fallout of the Laurens Riot of 1870, including the ignoble escape of the infamous Joe Crews from town.
An antebellum-style handcar in New Bern, NC
In the wake of the Laurens Riot, rumors flew of groups coming to burn Laurens, that Governor Scott was sending a complete regiment of black militia, that the President was going to declare martial law, and the superstitious were pointing to the bright appearance of the aurora borealis every night. Patrols were detailed every night for the protection of the citizens.[1]
            Four days later the contingent of US Regular troops arrived in Laurens in response to the riot under command of Captain Estes who garrisoned his men in the abandoned railroad depot. Then six days after their arrival, on October 30, 1870, Joe Crews appeared before Captain Estes demanding U.S. protection and safe conveyance out of the county. He looked so haggard from ten days on the run that the Captain agreed to help him, and

Friday, June 26, 2015

Days of Terror in Laurens County, SC

Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues, with a description of the days of terror in the wake of the Laurens, SC, Riot of 1870.

The Laurens Riot took place October 20, 1870, the day after the general election, and racial and political tensions in post-War South Carolina were bound to boil over somewhere. The account of the Laurens Riot is found here, but the aftermath was even darker. Here is the story:

By nightfall the whole thing seemed to be over, that is until riders from surrounding counties and outlying areas came into Laurens and into the barrooms in Clinton,[1] having heard the rumors flying of race war.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Laurens, SC, Riot

Laurens, SC, Courthouse viewed from the direction of Tin Pot Alley
Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues, as the 1870 Election sparks a major riot on the Square in Laurens.
             It was rainy the morning after the election,[1] Wednesday, October 20, 1870. Court was in session, and Wednesday being the great court day, a large group of whites and blacks were on the square as everyone attended court in those days.[2] Some number of blacks had come to "receive their rewards" from Joseph Crews and his cronies for their election work.
            About eleven that morning on the Courthouse Square, a fist fight began near Tin Pot Alley, Joe Crews’ politico-military compound. According to later testimony presented before the Grand Jury, the fight started when a white Republican constable apparently called a citizen Democrat named Johnson "a tallow‑faced son‑of‑a‑

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Laurens County, SC's most corrupt election

Laurens County Courthouse built 1838
Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues with an account of the corrupt and violent 1870 election in Laurens County, SC. 

 As the 1870 fall election season got fully underway, Laurens County chairman of the Radical Republican Party, Joseph Crews, continued making election speeches across the county, and the more he talked, the more ridiculous his speeches became. 
He told black voters that they possessed the State government and must keep it or die, that it was necessary to their liberty and safety that he be elected to the SC House, that he had given them arms and bullets and they must use them, that they had the torch and matches were cheap, that everyone over fifteen years old could vote – he had passed the law himself. On top of it all, Crews consolidated his election machine in an old, dilapidated building called

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Clinton, SC, Riot of 1870

The Clinton, SC, Square.
Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues, with 1870 election tensions building to a race riot in Clinton.

In Laurens County and throughout South Carolina, as the 1870 fall election season approached, tensions continued to increase, fomented by outside political influences and internal racial fears. 

On a dark night in mid-August, Dr. William P. Jacobs of Clinton, SC, was in for a real surprise on his way home from Cross Hill after marrying a couple.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Black militias in the 1870 Laurens County, SC, election

Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues, concerning black militias in the 1870 election.
A postbellum SC Black militia (Source:
            Post-war racial tensions in Laurens County, SC, were exacerbated by the tense political atmosphere and the organizing of independent groups determined to keep freed slaves in their place. During the election of 1868, the Ku Klux Klan first organized in the upstate in Abbeville County and was thought to be connected to similar organizations in Edgefield and Laurens dedicated to the destruction of the Radical party and the killing or banishment of its leaders. In Laurens, Union, York, and lower Greenville counties, disguised men visited voters to warn against voting Republican.[1] In turn, carpetbagger Governor Robert K. Scott organized black militias to warn black voters that they must

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Infamous Joseph Crews

Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues, acquainting us with the notorious Joseph Crews
Joseph Crews' grave in
Laurens (SC) City Cemetery,
not with the rest of the family

The infamous Joseph Crews was the brother of Thomas B. Crews, the editor of the Laurensville Herald. He was also a state legislator, and the owner of a steam‑powered saw and grist mill in Clinton. After the war, Crews led Radical Republican agendas in Laurens County to help elevate the freed slaves in society and subjugate the white Democrats. But Joseph Crews was no liberal‑ minded man with a great vision a vision of equality for all. He "had been a Negro trader [i.e., a slave trader], and had been accused of grave crimes," and was involved in the infamous Greenville, Columbia, and Laurens Railroad fraud.[1]
In fact, Crews was notorious as a slave trader before the war, kidnapping slaves and Indians in the Gulf States and selling them in the Carolinas and Virginia, the price increasing as they moved north.
George Patterson grew up at Kilgore's Bridge on the Enoree River and had been born a slave of Joe Patterson. In the 1930s, George Patterson gave a Works Progress Administration interview mentioning his father’s connection to Joe Crews. Patterson’s mother was an Irish woman working for the Patterson family, not legally a slave, but she was married "by his 'Marster'" to his father, a full blooded Indian, who was sold to his master by Joe Crews, "the biggest slave trader in the country." Crews had stolen him "when he was a young buck" somewhere in Mississippi along with some other Indians and sold him into slavery with the "niggers." He "drove them just like cattle and would stop at various plantations and sell the Indians and niggers into slavery."2
During the war Crews avoided the draft, stayed at home, and cheated on a private scale, which lent him no great amount of respect from Laurens County veterans. In 1870, Joseph Crews served simultaneously as a lieutenant colonel of militia, head of the county election commission, and a candidate for the state house of representatives. John Leland, principal of the Laurensville Female College at the time, contends he made more money on the black citizens than he did on the black slaves, but "'to give the devil his due,' Joe has been known to perform some acts of real kindness, and even of charity."[3] Crews “was a man of mediocre ability but of considerable influence in the legislature. He had failed in business before the war, . . . [and] was a good‑hearted fellow," but his integrity was not respected.[4] Crews would go on to become a member of the state legislature. In several important committee appointments, he would become known as the most radical member of the General Assembly. Crews would also eventually be appointed ranking officer of the state militia.[5]

[1]           Thornwell Jacobs, The Life of William Plumer Jacobs (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1918), 89. Crews was also a master intimidator. Dr. William Jacobs of Clinton, SC, in lamenting loudly the death of the railroad, received a letter from Joe Crews in early 1871 that as Jacobs was a young man he might live to see the railroad built back.
[2]           George Patterson, in Slave Narratives, (II, i, 226‑229), interviewed on May 27, 1937, edited by R.V. Williams. When he was set free, he and his father stayed with Joe Patterson to bring in the crop that year 1865, and then went to Spartanburg.”Patterson continued a lively interview: "I've never seen a moving picture. Once a man offered to give me a ticket to a movie, but I told him to give me a plug of tobacco instead." He said that when colored preachers "are educated they learn to steal everything a man has, if they can." Patterson continued his interview, "You remember Joe Crews and Jim Young‑‑what they did in this state? Well, they tried to lead all the niggers after the war was over. I was the one who got Jim Young away from the whites. I carried him to Greenville, but he got back somehow, and was killed. Joe Crews was killed, too. The Ku Klux was after them hot, but I carried Jim Young away from them." In the woods, Patterson said of years past, there were wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, and wild hogs with six inch tusks. Cattle ran wild and were dangerous at all times. (II, i, 230), May 31, 1937: When there was a surplus of apples and peaches they made brandy, a surplus of corn or rye‑‑whiskey, 40 cents a gallon. Butter 5 cents/lb., Eggs 6 cents/doz., Hens 10 cents, Salt deer $50/barrel. Plenty of wild turkeys, ducks, wild geese on the River. Turkeys, he said, tear up gardens and planted seed.
[3]           Leland, 52, 70. His sometime partner in crime, Young J. Owens, chairman of the county Republican committee, had deserted to the enemy early in the war.
[4]           Simkins and Woody, 93, 204,128.

[5]           Benjamin Ginsberg, Moses of South Carolina: A Jewish Scalawag during Radical Reconstruction (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), 102.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Emerging Black Leadership in Reconstruction-era Laurens County, SC

Fleming Cain Colored School, Laurens County, SC
Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues, exploring the emerging African-American leadership in Laurens County.
War’s end and the beginning of Radical Reconstruction brought massive social change. In Laurens County, freedom brought opportunities for local former slaves to develop as community and political leaders. Most whites did not hate the freed blacks. They just wanted them to stay in the same condition as before the war.  However, some freedmen did not fit the prescribed mold. Here are a few you might like to know:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Farm Labor and Freed Slaves in Reconstruction-era Laurens County, SC

Rendering lard in Laurens County, SC
Our series on Laurens County, SC, during Reconstruction continues, describing the adjustments of whites and blacks to a world where slaves were freed.
For whites, the freeing of the slaves was a fearful dilemma. African-Americans, free at last, were in shock at their newfound freedom. This brave new, free world was a confusing thing to everyone involved. Laurens resident William Watts Ball gives his white perspective:

Monday, February 02, 2015

Reconstruction Clinton, SC: Liquor and Temperance

Clinton, SC, early 20th century
Part of a series on Reconstruction-era Laurens County, SC
Clinton, South Carolina, in the early years was "like many western railroad camps, . . . and did a big business in cotton." Until the Charleston to Spartanburg railroad was built, Clinton was the embarking point for most of the Upstate of South Carolina.  Because of that, Clinton was also a place to misbehave while away from home for those with some extra cash in their pocket. William P. Jacobs describes Clinton this way:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Post-bellum Laurens County, SC, smaller towns

Part of a series on Reconstruction-era Laurens County, SC
Cross Hill Township was founded at the crossing of Indian trails on the high ridge from about Chappells to about Greenville and the North‑South path from the fish dams on the Broad River to the dams on the Savannah River. Cross Hill was nine miles of the "most fertile farming land in the county" with springs and Mudlick and Cane Creeks making dairy farming profitable.  Years later Cross Hill would bloom as a railroad town with

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Reconstruction-era Clinton, SC

 According to Dr. William P. Jacobs, the first building in Clinton was erected in 1852, in the middle of a mud hole or stagnant pool of water, at the corner of Broad and Pitts Streets.  The words 'BARROOM' were painted on its side.  A log from the doorway to terra‑firma was the way of approach and many an unlucky fellow who walked straight in, walked out so crooked, that he would topple over to the pool below.[1] Other little wooden shanties and homes were put up, but by 1864

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

No railroad to Laurensville

Laurens Railroad station in later years
Part of a series on Reconstruction-era Laurens County, SC
At the end of the War Between the States, Laurens County’s link with the outside world, the Laurens Railroad, was no longer in business.  The Laurens County boys had ridden this very track off to fight the Yankees in '61.  Many would never return from the battlefields.[1] The railroad had reached Five Points (later called Clinton)[2] in 1850, and passengers used gangplanks to board because of the flat, marshy ground.[3]  The first train whistle was heard in Laurens in 1854, and by December 1863, there was a