Featured Documents and Lesson Plans

Portrait of Eli Whitney

The story of Eli Whitney and the cotton gin has long served as a benchmark in American history, an economic turning point from which white southerners extended plantation agriculture to the backcountry. 

Robert Smalls

The Marion petitioners request an exemption for 48-year-old J.A. Stevenson, who is in poor health—“of very delicate constitution." According to the petitioners, Stevenson is not fit for active service.

Robert Smalls

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw was the son of wealthy and influential abolitionists. In the Civil War, he commanded the 54th Massachusetts, an African American regiment. This lesson focuses on Shaw's decision about assuming command of this regiment.

The Brown family

Taken between 1937 and 1939, these photographs were part of a larger photographic project of the Farm Security Administration that existed well into the 1940s. The FSA was part of the New Deal's attempt to understand and address the realities of rural poverty.

Liberty Hill school

Most people are familiar with Brown vs. the Board of Education as the most important case to end segregation in school. But, few know about the Briggs vs. Elliott case in South Carolina in 1947.


Links to lessons listed by Historical Eras.

Be sure to check out our online "Treasure Trove" of primary sources, virtual tours, and lessons for the classroom. We welcome all social studies and history teachers to make use of this site, which we hope will become an essential resource for planning history education.

150 years ago, all eyes were on South Carolina as the Union faced secession and war. To commemorate events, people, and places of the state, links to the left will feature key items from our primary source timeline.


Teaching American History in South Carolina is part of a nationwide Teaching American History federal grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement, Education Academic Improvement and Demonstration Programs Award #U215X070115, #U215X040339 and #S215X010282.

Richland School District Two is the primary recipient of this grant, which is administered by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

If you have questions, contact Teaching American History in South Carolina.