state leadersState Leaders in Government

Oral History

Charles Boineau Jr.

Boineau, Charles E., Jr. (1995)

Interview Transcript:
Charles E. Boineau served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1961-1962. He was the first Republican elected to the House since Reconstruction, and his election heralded the emergence of a viable and active Republican Party in the state. This 1995 interview begins with Boineau's personal history, the formation of his political ideology, and his experiences at The Citadel. Boineau recounts how he and others worked to promote a Republican Party presence in the 1960s and how his 1961 special election to the House paved the way for the emergence of the modern state Party. His description of the events that surrounded his election include personal anecdotes involving figures such as Strom Thurmond, Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, Floyd Spence, Joe Berry, Olin Johnston, Drake Edens, and Bill Workman. Boineau also describes his admiration for national Republican figures such as Barry Goldwater, and he goes into great detail about the S.C. Democratic Party's enforcement of the "loyalty oath" and the "full-slate law."

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Rembert Dennis

Dennis, Rembert C.   (1989, 1990)
Rembert Dennis (D-Berkeley County) served more than forty years in the S.C. House and Senate between 1939 and 1988.

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Transcript 1:
This 1975 interview emphasizes Dennis' public policy views, the impact of the 1974 elections and Charles "Pug" Ravenel's gubernatorial campaign, and his views of legislative service. He describes his strong support for state assumption of primary and secondary school funding and elaborates on how he would provide that funding. He also discusses why the Senate seniority system traditionally has been misinterpreted and predicts that new rule changes in the system will encourage participation by more of the body's younger members.

Transcript 2:
This interview was held over a series of twenty dates from 1989 to 1990. The 218-page transcript is divided into chapters in which Dennis describes his family history, formative years, personal life, and public career. He speaks about his relationships with S.C. politicians and his views about the state political scene, and how events such as the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and Watergate influenced his beliefs. An enthusiastic hunter and outdoorsman, Dennis discusses his passion for these activities and his interest in wildlife-focused legislation. A large portion of the interview is devoted to exploring his long legislative career; his campaigns, which were often uncontested; the work he completed for Berkeley County; his involvement as Chair of the Finance Committee; his personal interests; recognition and awards; and his reluctant decision to retire in 1988 following a series of health-related problems. Dennis briefly discusses his law career, which lasted nearly as long as his political career, and his opinions about integration and race relations.

Harrelson, James P. "Preacher" (1999)
Walterboro pastor and attorney; state legislator (Colleton County).

Martin, John A. (1999)
State legislator (Fairfield County).

Robert McNair

McNair, Robert E. (1982)

This multi-part interview is one of a series in an oral history project which grew out of former Governor McNair's concern that his official gubernatorial papers would not adequately document the tragic confrontation at Orangeburg on February 8, 1968, and the desire of a group of his associates to more thoroughly document his administration. The South Carolina Department of Archives and History administered the project, and these interviews were conducted by Dr. Cole Blease Graham of the University of South Carolina. The SCDAH has graciously allowed SCPC to mount the McNair interview on its website. For a full description of this project, please see the introduction to Transcript #1.

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Go to McNair Collection page

Marshall Parker

Parker, Marshall (2002)

Interview Transcript:
In this 2002 interview, Marshall Parker reflects on his life, particularly his public service as S.C. state senator from Oconee County, 1956 to 1966, and campaigns for the U.S. Senate, 1966 and 1968. Parker was educated at the University of North Carolina and served with the Marines in the Pacific during World War II. He moved to Seneca in 1947 and founded and operated Oconee Dairies from 1950 to 1981. In 1966, Parker joined the Republican Party and ran for the U. S. Senate. He polled 212,000 votes, a remarkable vote in a state that had only in 1961 elected its first Republican state legislator since Reconstruction. Democrat Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings was elected to fill the remainder of the term of deceased Senator Olin Johnston with 223,000 votes. Parker tried to build on his success in the 1968 campaign for a full six-year term, but lost 248,000 votes to Hollings' 404,000.

Thomas Harrington Pope, Jr.

Pope, Thomas Harrington, Jr. (1995)

Interview Transcript:
In this 1995 interview, Thomas H. Pope discusses his education at The Citadel and University of South Carolina School of Law in the 1930s. He also comments on political campaigns and his service in the South Carolina House of Representatives, 1937-1940, and 1946-1950, and as Chairman of the state Democratic Party, 1958-1960.

Russell, Donald S. (1992)
Governor of South Carolina, 1963-1965; and U.S. Senator, 1965-1966.




Saleeby, Edward E. (1999)

Interview Transcript:Edwarb Saleeby
Hartsville native Ed Saleeby (1927-2002) reflects on his life and distinguished career in public service.  Saleeby received his LL.B. degree from the University of South Carolina in 1949, served in the South Carolina House of Representatives, 1951 to 1959, and on the USC Board of Trustees, 1961 to 1972.  In 1972, he defeated powerful incumbent state senator “Spot” Mozingo in a hotly contested race.  He served in the Senate from 1972 to 2002.

Spence, Floyd D. (1992)
U.S. Congressman, South Carolina's 2nd District; South Carolina House of Representatives (Lexington County), 1957-1962, and 1966-1970.

Waddell, James M. (1999)
State legislator (Beaufort County).

John Carl West

West, John Carl (1996-1997)

Interview Transcript:
John C. West served as a member of the South Carolina Senate, 1955-1966; as Lieutenant Governor, 1967-1971; as Governor, 1971-1975; and as United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1977-1981.

In this interview (taped on four dates in 1996 and 1997) West discusses his childhood in rural Kershaw County, his education at The Citadel, his military career, his law school education and legal career, and his career in public service. Among the topics he covers are his thoughts on aspects of the state's development since World War II; his assessment of Fritz Hollings' gubernatorial term as a "watershed" in the style of state politics; his experiences with race relations and the civil rights movement; and details of various political campaigns.

He discusses the importance of William Workman's 1962 U.S. Senate campaign to the rise of the Republican Party in the state. He also describes his involvement with the 1960 John F. Kennedy presidential campaign in S.C. Some of his achievements during his career, including the creation of a second medical school in S.C., are detailed here, as well as his duties as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. His career was not without disappointments, however, and West shares some of the frustrations he faced.

Go to West Collection page

Williams, Marshall (1995)
State legislator (Orangeburg County).






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