William Crafts, Jr | History of SC Slide Collection

William Crafts, Jr
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A poet, politician and reformer born in Charleston, William Crafts, Jr. (1787-1826), was educated by tutors and later entered Harvard, graduating in 1805. He returned to Charleston and studied law. Handsome and popular, with a reputation for wit, Crafts was elected for several terms to the state House of Representatives and Senate. As a legislator, he was particularly interested in promoting the welfare of the mentally ill in South Carolina, and was instrumental in the passage of the bill creating the Insane Asylum, for which he was given the title "Father of the Asylum." However, he is best known as a poet and essayist. Crafts' published works include "The Sea Serpent" (1819), "Sullivan's Island," and "The Raciad and Other Poems" (1820). His best work, "The Raciad," is an amusing account of Charleston on race day. Crafts died in Lebanon Springs, New York, in 1826, and was buried in Boston.

Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.

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