Black Seventh District | South Carolina Public Radio

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“B” is for the “Black” Seventh District. After the 1880 census, South Carolina was awarded an additional two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Redistricting gave the state’s white Democrats an opportunity to neutralize black Republican voting strength. Congressman Samuel Dibble of Orangeburg drafted a plan to pack as many black voters as possible into one district so that white Democrats could win the remaining six seats. The proposed seventh or black district snaked across the state and included portions of nine different counties. It stretched from the Savannah River to Winyah Bay [excluding the city of Charleston] and from the Atlantic to the Sandhills, nearly one hundred miles inland. More than 81 percent of the district’s voters were African American. In 1896, Republican George Washington Murray was the last African American Congressman elected from the “Black” Seventh District of South Carolina.