- Associated Press - Saturday, April 22, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The University of South Carolina is putting up two historical markers to recognize the role slaves played in building the university during its first 60 years.

Trustees approved the new plaques Friday without discussion.

The markers will recognize that slaves helped construct the first buildings on the campus, which was founded in 1801. Slaves also maintained the building and made meals for professors and students until they were freed by Union troops who seized Columbia in 1865, The State newspaper reported (https://bit.ly/2pQAt1d).

“The Horseshoe, of course, is hallowed ground,” university President Harris Pastides said of the heart of campus where the school was first located. “And it’s led to an awareness that there are things about the history of the Horseshoe and the university that we haven’t really expressed yet.”

A number of professors owned slaves, with others hired from private citizens to work on campus.

A group of minority students marched on campus in 2015 demanding the markers and other changes, but Pastides said plans for the markers were already being made before the march 17 months ago.

“It takes a long time because it’s not only a sensitive matter, but the research that was done to support the wording took a lot of time,” said Pastides, who appointed a committee of students, faculty members and trustees to research the issue and write the plaques.

The university has not decided where it will put the markers, or figured out how much they will cost.


Information from: The State, https://www.thestate.com

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