First Advisor

Eldred Prince, Jr.


During Reconstruction a movement gained momentum to educate the newly freed slaves in the South. Historians have agreed that the impetus for that movement came from the freedmen, as they came to be called, as well as northern missionary societies and religious aid associations. In South Carolina that impetus started in the Sea Islands around Charleston. Many historians have studied what is known as the Port Royal Experiment and the educational programs in Columbia and Orangeburg, particularly as they pertain to the higher education institutions for African Americans that arose from these efforts. But no one has specifically studied what was done to educate the freedmen in the Pee Dee region of northeastern coastal South Carolina. Using a combination of research drawn from scholarly sources and primary documents from the time period, this article has found that educational efforts in the Pee Dee mirrored much of the work done in other areas of the state. While not all of the schools created were successful, they provided the basis to push the African American community in the Pee Dee region to continue to keep education in the forefront into the twentieth century.

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