Claflin College, founded in 1869 as Claflin University, is the oldest historically black college in S.C. and was established to "advance the cause of education, and maintain a first-class institution ... open to all without distinction of race or color." It was named for two generations of the Claflin family of Mass., Lee Claflin (1791-1871), a prominent Methodist layman, and his son Gov. William Claflin (1818-1903), who supported and helped fund the new institution.
The S.C. Agricultural and Mechanical Institute opened at Clafin in 1872 and was the predecessor of S.C. State University, founded in 1896. Claflin, associated with and supported by the Methodist Church, featured in its early years industrial, manual, and agricultural training; primary and secondary education; and college-prep and college courses, including architecture, law, teacher education, and theology. It was renamed Claflin College in 1979.
Erected 1998 by Claflin College. (Marker Number 38-26.)
Location. 33° 29.83′ N, 80° 51.277′ W. Marker is in Orangeburg, South Carolina, in Orangeburg County. Marker is on Claflin Circle, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. On the grounds of
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and Graveyard (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); South Carolina State University (about 700 feet away); Trinity United Methodist Church (about 700 feet away); The Orangeburg Massacre (approx. 0.2 miles away); Church of the Redeemer (approx. 0.4 miles away); Judge Glover's Home (approx. 0.4 miles away); Court House Square (approx. 0.7 miles away); Orangeburg Confederate Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orangeburg.
Also see . . . Claflin University website. (Submitted on September 29, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
1. The Claflin History
Claflin was founded in 1869 by Methodist missionaries to prepare freed slaves to take their rightful places as full American citizens. The University takes its name from two Methodist churchmen, Massachusetts Governor William Claflin and his father, Boston philanthropist Lee Claflin, who provided a large part
Dr. Alonzo Webster, a minister and educator from Vermont and a member of Claflin’s Board of Trustees, secured Claflin’s charter in 1869. The charter forbids discrimination of any sort among faculty, staff and students, making Claflin the first South Carolina University open to all students regardless of race, class or gender.
Claflin opened its doors with Dr. Webster as its first president. He came to South Carolina to teach at the Baker Biblical Institute in Charleston, an institution established by the S.C. Mission Conference of 1866 of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the education of African American ministers. In 1870 the Baker Biblical Institute merged with Claflin University. An act by the South Carolina General Assembly on March 12, 1872, designated the South Carolina State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute as a part of Claflin University. In 1896 the S.C. General Assembly passed an act of separation which severed the State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute from Claflin University and established a separate institution which eventually became South Carolina State University.
Categories. • African Americans • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 25, 2011, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 532 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 25, 2011, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.