Born in Sumterville (now Sumter), Governor Franklin I. Moses (1838-1906) was educated in local schools and later studied law. As a private secretary to Governor Francis Pickens, he became involved in the political affairs of South Carolina during the Civil War, and was appointed as a conscript officer in the state. The nature of his duties resulted in his alienating a number of his friends. After the war ended, Moses joined the Republican Party and soon became an influential member. By gaining the support of the newly-enfranchised African-American voters, he was elected governor in 1872. After numerous charges of abuse of the public trust and mismanagement of public funds, he retired from office after one term. Moses left South Carolina, engaging in a number of questionable business investments throughout the North. He was imprisoned on several occasions on charges of fraud and theft, including a three-year prison term in Massachusetts on a charge of swindling. He received a pardon in 1887 from the Massachusetts governor who believed that Moses, because of his poor health, did not have long to live. However, Moses did not die until 20 years later in 1906.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.