Since the state was settled by the English in 1670, South Carolina has had 93 governors—some of whose collections are held by SCPC. In 1865, James Lawrence Orr became the state’s first governor to be elected by popular vote. As Cole Blease Graham, Jr. notes in the South Carolina Encyclopedia, prior governors were appointed by the Lords Proprietors (1670-1719), the British crown (1719-1776), the General Assembly (1776-1865), and the president of the United States (30 Jun.-29 Nov. 1865). South Carolina’s gubernatorial election will take place this November.
According to South Carolina’s constitution, gubernatorial inaugurations are set for the “first Wednesday following the second Tuesday in January next after [an] election.” It seems a fitting time of year to acknowledge yet another contribution Workman’s collection adds to South Carolina’s photographic history: gubernatorial inaugurations of the 1950s. We are pleased to share images of James F. Byrnes’ inauguration in 1951, George Bell Timmerman’s inauguration in 1955, and Ernest F. Hollings’ inauguration in 1959.
By Mae Howe
Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.