House Chamber: State Mace | The SC State House


The symbol of authority in the House Chambers is the state mace. Whenever members of the House attend state occasions or events held in the Senate Chambers, the mace is always borne by the Sergeant-at-Arms at the head of the procession. When the House is in session, each day the Sergeant-at-Arms bears the mace ahead of the Speaker of the House and places it upon a specially prepared rack on the rostrum in front of the Speaker. The mace remains there until recess or adjournment.

Purchased by the “Commons House of Assembly of the Province of South Carolina” for 90 guineas, the mace was made in 1756 by Magdelen Feline of London. Its panels contain the royal arms of Great Britain, the arms of the House of Hanover, which was the royal house of King George III, and the arms of the Province of South Carolina. The mace is made of solid silver with gold burnishing and it is the oldest mace of use in the United States, pre-dating the American Revolution.

During the American Revolution, the mace was taken by British sympathizers who offered it for sale to the House of Assembly of the Bahamas. It was not purchased and for years its whereabouts remained a mystery. In 1819, the Hon. Langdon Cheeves went from South Carolina to Philadelphia to become the President of the Bank of the United States. While there he found the mace hidden in a vault, and returned it to South Carolina.

More in this Series

Let's Go! / South Carolina State House / III: House Chamber